Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Yes, Virginia, There Will Be a Quilt Show in Paducah!

The Paducah City Commission has been hard at work on a resolution to the now-closed Executive Inn, and to provide alternate facilities for the AQS Quilt Show. At last night's Commission meeting several actions were approved - see the notes below from Pam Spencer, City Information Officer.

Purchase of Executive Inn: Commissioners unanimously approved an ordinance to purchase the Executive Inn from the mortgage-holder, Logan Asset Backed Fund, in the amount of $1.8 million. The Convention Center Corporation owns the land that is occupied by the hotel and convention centers. Commissioners also unanimously approved an ordinance to acquire the land that the Executive Inn sits on from the Convention Center Corporation. In addition to the purchase price of $1.8 million, the City expects to spend an additional estimated $1.8 million for demolition, liens, and other hotel expenses. The Executive Inn closed in September 2008 and briefly reopened for the Quilt Show and a few other conventions in 2009. Before voting, Mayor Paxton discussed the City’s commitment for providing a pavilion due to the lack of the vendor space that the Executive Inn has provided in the past. Paxton asked Meredith Schroeder co-founder of the American Quilter’s Society to make a statement about AQS’s five-year commitment to keeping the Quilt Show in Paducah. Schroeder says, “Paducah’s home. We want the show here. We think it’s a benefit for the City. We don’t want to move.” Mayor Paxton then thanked the Commission for its hard work over the past year. Paxton says, “Starting in January of this year, we started working on what we were going to do about this hotel. We all decided we were going to do what was best for the City.”

At this meeting and the previous meeting Downtown Development Director, Steve Doolittle, outlined the history and ownership of the property, the importance of tourism for Paducah, and the importance of the City/County investment into the Julian Carroll Convention Center and the Expo Center. Here are some of the highlights from those presentations: The Julian Carroll Convention Center (51,000 square feet) is connected to the Executive Inn. Earlier this year, the facility was renovated for $5 million by the City and County.
· The $6.5 million Expo Center (50,000 square feet) was built in 2002.
· The convention center facilities and the Executive Inn sit on a publicly owned 27-acre site.
· Paducah is 8th in Kentucky tourism out of the State’s 120 counties.
· Paducah ranks 4th in the State for the amount of convention center space.
· Tourism in the Paducah area generates approximately 3000 jobs with tourism expenditures nearing $200 million per year.
· The AQS Quilt Show provides an impact of $20 million per year to the area.
· Paducah has 30 hotels with 2500 rooms and 200 eating establishments. Together the hotels and restaurants generate $142 million in annual sales and $39.4 million in annual salaries.
· Approximately 20% of the Carson Center’s 60,000 annual visitors travel more than 100 miles. The travel distance means the visitors will more than likely spend the night in Paducah.
· Regarding the Executive Inn, the City is not working with another hotelier, does not plan to operate the facility, and has not negotiated with Mr. Singh.
· Doolittle also outlined upcoming decisions for the Commission including maintaining security and fire protection for the hotel, liquidation, and demolition.

Purchase of Pavilion: Commissioners unanimously approved an ordinance to purchase a 37,800 square foot air dome pavilion from Arizon Structures of St. Louis, Missouri. The pavilion structure will be used, among other things, to house vendors for the 2010 AQS Quilt Show and Contest. The cost of the pavilion is $807,929. The City has an agreement with Arizon that states Arizon will give the city an option of buying back the pavilion 24 months after installation. The price would be determined by taking 80% of the average of three appraisals of the pavilion’s value at that time. There will be additional costs associated with the site preparation, furniture and amenities, and installation.
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Here is a link to WPSD Local 6 TV for their 10 p.m. news broadcast on December 15:

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