Jonesboro Unlimited to make "Important Economic Development Announcement" Today

JULY 6, 2005 - Posted at 7:54 a.m. CDT

JONESBORO, AR - Jonesboro Unlimited, an economic development wing of the Jonesboro Regional Chamber of Commerce, will host a special luncheon today at the chamber's economic development building.

According to a chamber-issued news release, "An important economic development announcement will be made at the luncheon."  The chamber is remaining tight-lipped regarding any other details, but it is widely speculated that the announcement will reveal details of a proposed hotel and convention center backed by legendary hotelier and real estate developer John Q. Hammons of Springfield, Missouri.

A spokesman for Hammons has confirmed that his boss is expected to be in Jonesboro this week, and Mayor Doug Formon says he has recently met with Hammons, who reportedly outlined a proposal to build an 8-story hotel and convention center that would be located near The Mall at Turtle Creek, which is currently being constructed by the Belz-Burrow Development Company of Jonesboro.  A specific site for the hotel has not been revealed yet, but a 14-acre site at the junction of Race Street and Fair Park Boulevard is believed to be the site that Hammons has in mind.

Hammons has a strong relationship with Embassy Suites Hotel company.  He operates Embassy Suites facilities in Hot Springs, Little Rock, and Rogers.