Muncie Mayor McShurley

Why Roberts Hotel Matters

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If you are a downtown merchant, it matters.  If you are wanting to book a convention, it matters.  If you live in the City of Muncie, it matters.

The Roberts Hotel has seen better days, yet its time hasn’t passed.  Not according to the good news we received in the Muncie Star Press today.  We have some interested investors or should we say interesting investors.

Muncie Mayor Sharon McShurley has been in negotiations with developers from Chicago and Tulsa.  The idea is to make the hotel a boutique with approximately 100 rooms.  Mayor Mac working  in conjunction with community leaders,  has put together a focus group designed to express what the local businesses and community would like to see  in Hotel Roberts.

The prospect of the hotel re-opening after being shuttered in 2006 is exciting to downtown merchants.

It’s not as easy as buying and moving in, though.  Some renovations by the previous owner left undone, a complicated mess of finances including delinquent taxes and the consequent acquisition by Farmer’s Bank of Frankfort has made it a challenge for any business or investor.

If you would like to see the hotel and all its glory, please click here.

The Muncie Star Press quoted Mayor Sharon McShurley in today’s paper:

“It will be a long and arduous process, but I truly believe we have the right players at the table and can make this a success,” the mayor said. “It’s very exciting to have someone interested who is a proven success in doing just what we need done here.” Star Press 1-15-11

A brief history of the developers:

Rob Hunden is president of Hunden Strategic Partners of Chicago. His past experience includes the Omni convention hotel in Fort Worth, the Erie Bayfront Convention Center and Sheraton, Fourth Street Live in Louisville and the Kansas City Power & Light District. He worked with Indianapolis officials on the Indiana Convention Center expansion and funding for the construction of Conseco Fieldhouse.

Paul Coury is chairman of Coury Group of Tulsa, Okla. His recent hotel redevelopment projects include the 36-bed Ashton Hotel in Fort Worth, Texas, the 108-bed Colcord Hotel in Oklahoma City, Okla., and the 55-bed Ambassador Hotel in Tulsa.  Star Press 1-15-11

From the Historical Hotels of America website:
The Ashton Hotel
Fort Worth, Texas

Housed in two inter-connected historic buildings, The Ashton is Fort Worth’s only small luxury hotel. Soaring twelve-foot ceilings are luxuriously appointed and offer the finest in classic ambience with modern amenities. The hotel’s elegant Café Ashton has become one of the city’s most popular fine dining spots. The hotel is decorated with original artwork by the Fort Worth Circle, a collection of local artists whose work spanned the years from the 1930s through the 1960s.

The Ashton remains one of Fort Worth’s only examples of Italianate architecture. View the Ashton Hotel here.

Information on the Colcord Hotel.

Take a tour of the Ambassador Hotel.

Ivy Tech’s relocating downtown, restoring of historical apartments and the promise of an awesome park all contribute to a vibrant downtown.  The Roberts Hotel will be a boost to our community. 

I can’t wait!