Hotel design issues further delay construction

Downtown Paducah will have to wait a little for the construction of the anticipated Hilton Hotel since the hotel’s first announcement in May 2014. At that time, those with the hotel and the city thought they would be able to close on the financing for the hotel by last November 2014.

However, the November deadline was pushed back to the end of this month because of issues with the design. In terms of looking forward to a new groundbreaking date, city leaders say they have an idea but it’s too fluid to tell right now.

The new hotel is planned to be on the old site of the Executive Inn, however the land remains an empty lot because of more issues with the design of the hotel

One of the amendments to the design was what the city hoped to be on the top level of the hotel and bar restaurant. If the restaurant was on the bottom level, the flood wall would impede any view the restaurant would have. But as hotel construction sees more impediments, local business owners are anxious.

Joaquin Hilton, owner of local downtown business ‘The Paducah Cigar Company’, says ‘if you build it they will come’. Hilton says he and many other business owners have been keeping their eye on the progress and hope of a new hotel, “The downtown is just praying for this hotel, and the foot traffic it will bring, the business the money.”

Hilton knows all local businesses could stand some more customers, but he says it’s really a question of when they will be able to break ground on the hotel, “Its an amazing asset that needs to be blossomed,” says Hilton.

But Executive Director for the Paducah Riverfront Authority, Steve Doolittle says the hotel’s been further delayed, “It hasn’t gone as well as it needed to as far as a time standpoint.” Doolittle sites issues with the design of the new hotel, “The first run through put the project overbudget, so they’ve been working to find out how to add to the hotel, but keep it within budget.”

These issues have put the design behind schedule. Though in regards to groundbreaking, Doolittle says, “By the time ground is broken, 2/3 of the work is behind us, all that’s left is the construction.”

But the public will continue to wait for the new landmark. Hilton says, “A city isn’t looked at unless it has a hotel.”

The design company is based in Memphis, and work with Paducah city leaders on the hotel’s 120-room/ 6-story customized design. Doolittle says he believes the design is about 90 percent finished, but did not mention a new timeline in the case it changes.

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