Wood River officials say the plans to build a hotel near Illinois 255 and Route 143 appear to be moving again. A year ago, city crews were busy leveling the land to meet IDOT requirements. A developer with local roots has been in contact with the city ever since last year's plan fell through, and it looks like the city is ready to move.
City Manager Jim Schneider says that end of town has seen a boom in development in recent years, and this developer wants in.
Schneider declined to name the developer. There have been several false starts in getting a hotel developed on the city's east side, dating back to a 2008 plan by travel company YTB, which had planned to build on its property next to the 4 acres the city now owns. That plan would also have included a convention center, but YTB ran into a well-documented series of problems shortly after the plan was announced. A couple of years later, another developer had eyed the area for a hotel, restaurant and gas station, but those plans also fell apart.