City leaders say proposed downtown hotel could bring more events to Abilene

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ABILENE, Texas (KTAB)Two conferences are taking place at two South Abilene hotels bringing about 200 people into the Key City. According to city leaders a proposed downtown hotel could bring even more events and visitors to Abilene.

The Justice of the Peace and Contstable Association is hosting their first ever event in the Key City in 76 years at the same time the Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas is hosting their conference.

“It has a financial impact in our community of almost 120 thousand dollars,” Abilene Mayor Anthony Williams said.

“We go to other training in Lubbock, San Marcos, San Antonio and usually if you’re in a town like that they either put you downtown where you can walk to places or a lot of the times we will go to the historic squares,” Justice of the Peace Chief Clerk Shawna Joiner said.

Conference and city leaders say that is what Abilene is missing a central hotel walking distance to local businesses and restaurants that make Abilene the city it is.

“Tonight we’re having to bus people over to Frontier Texas,” Joiner said.

“So many of us grew up with the Paramount. I am so glad it’s still here and these other judges are like Paramount don’t know what that is like how can you not know the Paramount you know but all this stuff that Abilene has to offer that’s special to us that love Abilene that love Taylor County that’s what we want to say ‘hey look what we’ve got,'” Taylor County Justice of the Peace Judge Sparky Dean said.

With both conferences next door to eachother they come together for meals and some classes and have to walk between the two hotels. This is just another reason these groups say they would love to be under one roof.

“If Abilene had a facility that we could put all this together it would be great instead of running back and forth across the parking lot,” Judge Dean said.

This is why Mayor Williams and other city leaders are working so hard to finalize plans for the proposed downtown hotel.

“It will provide an opportunity for conferences that will not consider coming to Abilene that will add to that so I think it has tremendous opportunity to add to what I believe already is a very successful tourism initiative that we have in Abilene,” Williams said.

They say it will help keep conferences like this one and attract even more visitors.

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