ASHLAND, Ky. — Two businessmen officially bought the Ashland Plaza Hotel and announced Thursday how they plan to revamp it into a 4-star Marriott-brand Delta Hotel - a move city officials hope will energize a struggling downtown.
"You're not going to recognize this," said Jim Nizzo of New York-based WB Hospitality as he gestured toward the Ashland Plaza Hotel lobby.
Nizzo and his partner Andy Spiros announced the purchase alongside city officials and Ashland Community and Economic Development Director Chris Pullem, who spearheaded efforts to entice the developers.
The Daily Independent reported the businessmen intended to make the buy in May. The initial closing date for the sale was set for June 30 but pushed back multiple times while the City of Ashland worked to shore up an incentive package.
The city will provide about $4.6 million to the business developers through bonds to help with construction costs. The incentive funding is supposed to be generated by a 20-year Tax Increment Financing, or TIF, program launched in downtown Ashland by the city and the Boyd Fiscal Court.