Monday, October 12, 2015

Convention Hotel

Assuming it gets built, the new Hyatt will be a nice addition to downtown but what Carbondale could really use is a hotel with convention facilities. We have not had one with enough space to host a convention since the old Holiday Inn on East Main was shuttered several years ago for all sorts of violations. The Holiday Inn out by Reeds Station Road does have some meeting space but not nearly enough to host a convention of any reasonable size. I looked at it several years ago for an event I was hosted that I expected to draw about 150 to 200 people and could not see any way to fit that number into what the Holiday Inn had available.

Now Carbondale does have plenty of meeting space, both at the Civic Center and at SIUC, but neither has a hotel attached. People attending multi-day events at either have to take lodging elsewhere and arrange for transportation to the facility, not a great selling point when trying to pitch Carbondale as a location to host a large event over multiple days. Like anyone else convention attendees want to travel as little as possible from where they are staying to the meeting facility and Carbondale really does not have a facility to handle such an event.

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