JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - I'm KAIT Vice President and General Manager Chris Conroy.
Two convention centers in one city equal lots of drama and lots of questions.
Could we really see one of the two convention centers planned for Jonesboro start construction?
A press release sent to Region 8 News announced a groundbreaking for the Hyatt Place Hotel and Convention Center project in Jonesboro on August 16th.
Progress is good news, right?
But this project has the same local developers as the Greensborough Village Town Center project at Hilltop in Jonesboro.
That is a piece of land that was cleared, and promises were made almost two years ago to start construction.
That has not happened.
Let's hope the Hyatt Place Hotel and Convention Center project doesn't stall and wait years before anything meaningful is done.
Just know, as residents of Jonesboro and as the most responsible journalistic outlet in our area, Region 8 News will be watching the progress very closely.
As for the other convention center project at Arkansas State University, we'll need to see what the ouster of former ASU Chancellor Tim Hudson means for that project.
It seems to me that ASU might have bigger fish to fry right now.
When and if there is any progress on that project remains to be seen.
Region 8 News will be watching that one for you too.
There is a lot at stake with each of these projects.
The idea of two convention center projects has been an ongoing story with twists and turns and emotion.
Who's going to be first?
Will there really be two convention centers?
Is Region 8 strong enough to support two?
A few years ago the Craighead County Fair Association believed it was strong enough to build a new fairgrounds and expo center.
It has since filed for bankruptcy and sold the property to a local church.
Could their experience be a lesson for others to learn? Time will tell.
As the story unfolds, we'll be there, and we'll be fair.
Keeping up with the progress and holding those in power accountable makes this a better Region 8.
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