The fates of two downtown Peoria hotels could finally be decided.
The City Council is set to discuss the proposed management change for the Pere Marquette and adjacent Courtyard by Marriott at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday. The council has been stalled on the issue since early May, when the property owner, Gary Matthews, first requested the day-to-day management of the hotels be taken away from Marriott and handed over to Rosemont, Illinois-based First Hospitality Group. If the deal is approved, Marriott's name would still be attached to the hotels.
Issues raised by council members have centered around what the proposed change would mean for the city's $36 million investment in the $100 million project, and why it was being requested. A vote on the change has been deferred several times as city staff and council members researched the implications of the switch.
Another kink in the works showed itself in early June, when it was revealed that Matthews was facing financial problems, including foreclosure on some of his Tazewell County properties. While the implications of those money woes are not fully known, it did cause concern for council members.
Councilman Chuck Weaver was worried that the city was not involved in the project enough. He says the city never saw the Pere Marquette's performance numbers until late this spring, when the hotel had been open for the better part of a year. He proposed the city set up a three person advisory panel to keep an eye on the financial picture of the hotel and protect the city's investment.
Assistant City Manager Chris Setti says all of the other lenders involved in the hotel project have already approved the change in management. If the council votes no, though, the deal will not happen. Setti says Matthews may be able to come back with a different proposal if that happens.