More oversight suggested for the Marriott Hotel complex

Jun 11, 2014


A Peoria City Councilman is asking for more oversight in the downtown Marriott Hotel complex. Peoria Public Radio’s Tanya Koonce reports that comes as project developer Gary Matthews is facing as many as five lawsuits and foreclosures.

Marriott management reports to Matthews although he is asking his lenders’ permission to change to First Hospitality Group. 

At-large Councilman Chuck Weaver says the taxpayers have about $36 million at risk and he needs to see additional oversight to support a change. "So one thought could be the investors put one person on that board of directors. The city puts one person on the board of directors and Mr Matthews is the third person. And the idea being that those three people would have the authority to pick their own  chairman of that board of directors, and that chairman is the person that then interfaces with FHG.”

Weaver says having a city representative closer to the project, all the time, might allow better information flow. He says April was the first time he’s seen operational numbers on the Pere Marquette that opened last June.     

Peoria is also outlawing the sale of drug paraphernalia. The city council unanimously approved the measure that begins in 10 days. The measure also increases the distance from 100 to 350 feet that a tobacco store must be from a school. Seven existing businesses are exempt.