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Community leaders announce new downtown hotel/conference center


The construction of a hotel and conference center in downtown Kokomo was announced today at City Hall. The development will be a 123-room Hilton Garden Inn near Superior and Union streets.

The hotel will connect to a 22,000-square-foot conference center.

"It is important to recognize that, as a community, we are fortunate to have quality lodging facilities and quality meeting facilities," said Charlie Sparks, President and CEO of the Greater Kokomo Economic Development Alliance.

"But, we know that if we are going to successfully compete for conference opportunities - and the positive economic impact that they generate - we need an asset that offers both lodging and meeting space at the same location," he said.

Howard County Commission President Paul Wyman said, "We will see thousands of new visitors to the city each year. It creates a tremendous venue for conference and conventions with a great location."

The development comes after extensive study and analysis, Sparks said. A Downtown Master Plan suggested that a hotel/conference center would be a positive addition to the city center, followed by a favorable analysis specific to the project's feasibility.

"A project of this magnitude does not happen on its own," Kokomo Mayor Greg Goodnight said. "It takes a team of partners from both the public and private sector."

Those partners include City of Kokomo, Howard County government, Greater Kokomo Visitors Bureau, Greater Kokomo Economic Development Alliance and the Kokomo Automotive Museum.