Some new hotels in downtown Wilm. are waiting on the economy

Reported by Gavin Johnson - bio|email
Posted by Debra Worley - email

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - While the Wilmington Convention Center is still scheduled to open in 2010, several hotels may not be ready in time to accommodate those who travel to use the center.

"It's a real concern as of right now," said John Hinnant, with Wilmington Downtown Inc. "There doesn't seem like we're going to have enough hotel rooms for the opening of the center."

Developers who committed to build the Hampton Inn and Suites are waiting to see how the financial market will fair before striking a final deal, and developers for the Courtyard Marriott are waiting on finances to get started.

The biggest scare Hinnant revolves around the construction of Hotel Indigo.

"That is absolutely the most important," said Hinnant.  "It's the hotel where presenters and vendors who use the convention will be housed."

Monday night city council members voted to give the Wilmington River Group, who owns Hotel Indigo, a time extension to purchase the land where the hotel will sit.

Wilmington River Group Owner Steven Arp is confident the hotel will be complete in time.

"We have a contract with the city that the hotel will be completed in time," said Arp.  "We will work 24 hours a day if we have to."

Construction for Hotel Indigo is expected to begin in August and cost more than $20 million.

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