City Council votes 9-0 in favor of Convention Hotel

Oct 1, 2013

  The downtown convention hotel subsidy saga has finally come to a theatrical finale.

Last night, City Council members unanimously voted in favor of the plan, and their tone was unusually light-hearted.

From the very start of last-night’s meeting, the mood was optimistic across all sides of the room, a far cry from earlier City Council meetings.

City Council President Connie Robinson opened the meeting with laughter, saying "this is a night of democracy."

And Councilman Jonathan Weaver’s vote was no ordinary “aye”, but a "hell yeah."

Their final decision arrives a week after a five-hour long City Council meeting last week, where a majority had previously vowed to vote down the hotel.

Members of City Council point to the “collaboration” of local investors, including Old National Bank, in bringing down the public subsidy to its final vote.

"Great communities are the result of collaboration amongst many parties, and this is a great community," Old National President and CEO Bob Jones said. "It's collaboration amongst Republicans and Democrats, labor and business, east and west side...and it's collaboration between the business in the private sector along with the public sector."

Council Finance Chair John Friend said, if only congress could work together the way City Council did, “we’d be much further ahead.”

WNIN's Cass Herrington hosted a live episode of The Trend in the hours leading up to the City Council decision. You can listen to the full program here: