Normal: Say NO to hotel subsidies

By:  Diane Benjamin

Town of Normal agenda for Monday:

This item is listed:


Discussions about subsidies is not on the agenda.

According to this document, plans for Constitution Trail Centre PUD go back to 2005:

A hotel was always part of the plan.  Evidently Normal doesn’t know when you pass plans specifying what you want to see built, developers know incentives will be there too.  Capitalism, where developers see a need and fill it,  can not be allowed to thrive in Normal.

Here are some things the Trustees need to know

I spoke with the manager of one local Extended Stay hotel, there are four in Bloomington-Normal now.  I was told extended stay is only 5% of their business.  Obviously not a huge demand.


There is an unnamed local motel on BizBuySell right now.  There is also an unnamed hotel listed:



Now look at occupancy rates of the current establishments. 

I received these reports from Raymond Ceresa of the Bloomington-Normal Hotel and Lodging Association.  He told me 36 of the 43 local hotels submit their occupancy and rates to Smith Travel Research who provides the Association with the information.

From 2018:


Occupancy (1st column) shows Bloomington-Normal with the lowest rate in the state.  The 2nd column is Average Daily Rate, the 3rd is Revenue per Available Room.  Note 2018 occupancy was worse than 2017.

How was January – February for 2019?


The chart shows even worse occupancy than the totals for 2018.  It looks like Bloomington Normal isn’t much of a destination or way too many hotel/motels already exist.

Offering any subsidies for a new Normal Hotel means giving them an unfair advantage over competitors.  Some existing hotels are just barely hanging on now.  If the Normal Council provides any incentives, they will be once again prove capitalism is immaterial, they want to control the market with shiny and new and don’t care existing businesses.  They will be willing to put some out of business to get what they want.  

Thanks to “the Double Tree Guy” for his assistance with this story.  (inside joke)

12 thoughts on “Normal: Say NO to hotel subsidies

    1. IIRC, Shields and Turner, recent candidates for town council, listed positions on the planning council on their resumes.

  1. I don’t see how BN is a destination other than occasional college events. Business attracts some travel, I’m sure. Comparing 2018 to 2019 is iffy only because we don’t have a full year of data. Based on this comparison, almost all cities decreased. I wonder if Air BnB’s have impacted the results in any measuable way?
    Adding another spiffy hotel fits with King Koos’ vision of utopia!

  2. Random observation: Grabbed a meal at Jasons Deli the other day, noted the litter collecting on the banks of the Constitution Trail there. Town just doen’t take care of much. Doesn’t get it. Maintenance of pet projects have cost. Koos Fools.

  3. Speaking of TRASH, UPTOWN is one BIG garbage bag! Go look at the banks of the creek behind the business places on Ft Jesse across from OTR. It’s horrible..

      1. OTR is the tire plant on the NW corner of Veterans and Fort Jesse. So the trash being referred to is on the S side of Fort Jesse, then the creek curves S and goes behind some of the businesses further west on that strip of Fort Jesse.

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