The city likely would need to partner with one of the four major U.S. hotel chains. Hunden showed examples of hotel/convention space built in Enid, Okla., and Tupelo, Miss., as public-private partnerships involving firms like Doubletree and Hilton.
The old Northern Indiana Supply Company warehouse buildings are also apparently not being considered for inclusion in phase one of the project. Hunden said the age, the structural condition and the repeated flooding of the buildings are issues.
Hunden said the big recommendation of the study is to “start small, with things we know will work,” and leave bigger plans — such as a grand exhibition hall or an arena — for what he called “phase two.”
“You don’t have to build a big box,” he said. “Muncie has this big, empty building without any hotels nearby and a downtown that isn’t that compelling.”
Scott Smith is on Twitter @JasonSSmith1 and can be reached at email@example.com