For more than 20 years, local economic development, tourism and government leaders have pursued the idea of a large-scale meeting space. For many reasons with many prospective partners, the concept of a conference or convention center has never panned out. A private national-level real estate developer, Stoney Creek Hospitality, who specializes in hotel and conference center properties, has brought our community one step closer to achieving this long-held initiative. Today, the IDB took action that will allow the Stoney Creek project to move one step closer to reality.
A relationship built between the IDB, Convention & Visitor’s Bureau (CVB), City of Clarksville Mayor Kim McMillan, Montgomery County Mayor Jim Durrett and Stoney Creek Hospitality has reached a point where a letter of intent has been provided to our community from the developer with an interest in building a facility.
This privately funded $30 million investment will create a 200-room hotel with a 40,000 to 50,000 square foot conference space that can host up to 1,000 people at a time. The development will mean a substantial economic impact for the hospitality industry in our community past the initial $30 million capital investment by the developer. It will create new opportunities for retail and dining, as well as bring much-needed meeting space to the City and County. This collaboration between the IDB and CVB is a direct advantage created by the partnership of the Economic Development Council over 20 years ago.
The IDB, at their regularly scheduled monthly meeting, acted to authorize the IDB Executive Director to negotiate loan terms which will allow financing to move forward on the creation of a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) agreement. The proposed TIF will create a revenue source to fund a budgeted $4.5 million incentive package from the community that will better leverage the investment from this developer. The long-term, positive effects this project could have on our region will benefit all residents of Montgomery County, including a city-funded access road to tie Wilma Rudolph Blvd. to Trenton Rd.
“Clarksville turns away business regularly, and has for years, because we don’t have a facility large enough to accommodate large groups,” said Visit Clarksville Chairman Jerry Allbert. “The tourism staff is ready, and the community is ready to host events and meetings at this scale. It will be a huge economic engine for our economy.”
Stoney Creek Hotel and Conference Center operates 15 properties in Missouri, Oklahoma, Iowa, Wisconsin and Illinois. Each of their properties is uniquely designed, focusing heavily on local history and commissioned artwork for an “urban lodge” experience.
The proposed location is approximately 1.5 miles off of I-24 at Exit 4 and will benefit greatly from the already established local retail corridor. Company officials expect to hire up to 200 construction workers, pumping between $32-35 million into the economy over a 15-month period.
"Stoney Creek is all about developing a culture of people that delivers exceptional guest service, high energy guest experience and lasting relationships,” said Stoney Creek Hospitality CEO Jim Thompson. “We are seeking high quality, one-of-a-kind opportunities that add synergy to existing growth trends.”
“This is a very exciting project for our community,” Mayor Kim McMillan said. “For tourism and for local events, we’ve long needed a large-capacity meeting space connected to a hotel, and this proposed public-private partnership is precisely what we need to make it happen.”
“After a site visit and over a year of discussions with Stoney Creek’s leadership, it is great to see this project moving forward. Our community has been in dire need of a true conference center for decades and Montgomery County plans to do all we can to make this project a reality,” said Montgomery County Mayor Jim Durrett. “This venture can be an important economic engine for us. We are now a county of more than 200,000 people. It is past time for us to host events in our own community as opposed to consistently traveling to other communities to attend them!”