Sweetwater deal gone sour - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Sweetwater deal gone sour

By Elizabeth Gentle
WAFF 48 News Reporter

A "sweet" deal for the city of Decatur has hit a sour note.

The builder of a multi-million dollar development says he's decided not to be part of the project.

Sweetwater sounded like a sweet deal.

Many were looking forward to its opening.

"It's always an outing we enjoy going to in Nashville. It would be a big business plus to have it here to the area," says Rhonda Carter.

"I think Bass Pro shops would be a big business to the community bring in help more jobs for people," says Anna Vaughn.

But then, the hotel developer backed out, leaving this empty land at I-65 and I-565.

Decatur Mayor Don Kyle says John Hammons hotels made a request the city wasn't willing to go along with.

"Told us they thought they needed us to provide some sort of incentives to help there model workout that was surprising to us," says Kyle.

Now the city is left to find another hotel developer.

Without it, Kyle says, this site won't generate as much revenue.

"When you talk about premier hotel companies you can't get much better than the Hammons group. But when you talk about money it's the same whether its them or somebody else," sys Kyle.

Since the hotel has pulled out what does that mean for Bass Pro Shops and other development?

For now, it's on hold.

That's ok with Larry Hughes who works at Townson's Bait and Tackle, a local Decatur supply store.

Townsons sells everything a fisherman needs.

And money taken in there helps keep small business alive.

"We're closer. Why burn the gas you can come here. All you need to fish with anytime live bait or artificial bait," says Hughes.

Hammons says he's interested in locating a hotel in Huntsville.

Bass Pro still intends to come to the development, wherever it is built.

You can contact Elizabeth at egentle@waff.com

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