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Council votes Hotel Indigo out, search to start over

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Wilmington’s city council is back to square one, looking for a hotel developer to build next to the new convention center after they voted last night to terminate the city’s contract with Wilmington River Group.

More and more like the convention center will open without a hotel next door. After one full year and six failed attempts, the Wilmington River Group is out, after signing on to build a $25 million Hotel Indigo next to the convention center.

“We ran out of time a long time ago to get the hotel up to be there when the convention center opens,” said Laura Padgett of the Wilmington City Council.

City Council voted to terminate the city’s contract with the company after it couldn’t produce a one million dollar letter of credit after being given six extensions.

City Attorney Tom Pollard says under the terms of the contract, the city was within its rights. “I felt like the city had been reasonable in trying to give them an opportunity to do so.”

All along we’ve heard that a hotel will accompany the convention center, but council member Ron Sparks is questioning the necessity of a hotel. “If you’ve been to the convention centers in Myrtle Beach and Columbia, none of those convention centers have a hotel as a part of their site and they seem to be doing well.”

Laura Padgett wants to see a new strong developer come in. “We need to move forward as quickly as we can assessing what we want in the hotel and trying to find another way to get the hotel.”

Council members now have several meetings ahead of them to figure out their next step.

Wilmington River Group’s attorney, JC Hearne, was not available for comment.

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Story summary

videoWilmington’s city council is back to square one, looking for a hotel developer to build next to the new convention center after they voted last night to terminate the city’s contract with Wilmington River Group.

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