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Bloomington Hotel Not Bound By ‘Living Wage’ Ordinance

Officials from the Hyatt hotel set to be built in downtown Bloomington say they cannot promise they will abide by the city's minimum wage law.

Parking lot

Photo: Yin Xia/WFIU-WTIU News

The Hyatt hotel will be built where a parking lot currently exists near Kirkwood Avenue and Morton Street.

A new hotel coming to downtown Bloomington in 2014 will not commit to paying employees a living wage.

The city council voted Monday to give a piece of land valued at about $25,000 to the group REI investments and White Lodging for a Hyatt hotel to be located near Kirkwood and Morton that will have 168 rooms.

If the companies don’t agree to pay employees a living wage, which is currently $11.66 an hour, then they will not be eligible for any tax abatements. Councilman Andy Ruff, who was the only councilperson to vote against the land transfer, says the hotel is now essentially receiving an abatement because it is getting the land for nothing.

“I couldn’t with a clear conscience vote yes to give them a piece of public property without a commitment to honor what I think is an ordinance that represents a core Bloomington community value.”

But Ruff says REI Investment employees staff the city’s parking garages and do make a living wage.

Visit Bloomington Executive Director Mike McAfee says ultimately the new hotel is a good thing for the city.

“Heads in beds is what we say all the time, and we have sales people in our office that work with those segments trying to bring those large groups of people here,” he says.

Crews will break ground on the new hotel in the spring.

  • disqus_Go2F7vVbl2

    Yeah, well, parking for 3 local businesses – Crazy Horse, Irish Lion, Alley Bar will become tricky at best and will no doubt impact them negatively. I appreciate that this loss was inevitable, but I am not particularly happy about it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/bob.eckert.50 Bob Eckert

    This new hotel will be the go-to hotel for those who drink and party rather than do the business in Bloomington they were sent to do. With all the liquor within just a few steps, this staff being paid less than a living wage better get ready for lots of visits from the police and getting socked in the kisser by drunk hotel residents, also the hotel will be a purrrfect place for drug deals, some coming off of I-69 when its finished. Congratulations, Bloomington, you’re careening towards becoming a urban sprawl high crime big city and the Democrats much less the Republicans (who would urge it along) can’t get control of it.

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