- Associated Press - Friday, December 4, 2015

JONESBORO, Ark. (AP) - The company in charge of opening a hotel and convention center at Arkansas State University plans to ask a Jonesboro commission to make a 10-year commitment to the space worth more than $2 million.

The Jonesboro Sun (http://bit.ly/1RtTZXy ) reports O’Reilly Hospitality Management notified the Jonesboro Advertising and Promotion Commission in a letter Tuesday of its partnership requests.

O’Reilly Hospitality Management anticipates construction of a 200-bed Embassy Suites hotel, a 40,000-square-foot dividable convention center and a Houlihan’s restaurant to begin in early 2016. The target completion date is fall 2017.

The company requested the commission commit to refunding the first $200,000 collected from a 3 percent tax on Jonesboro hotel revenue for 10 years.

The commission was also asked to commit up to 30 percent of the company’s proposed marketing budget to use for marketing the hotel, convention center and the city of Jonesboro.

Mayor Harold Perrin said it is the commission’s decision on how to spend the generated revenue from the hotel room tax. He did say that the company’s requests are typical of businesses setting up in Jonesboro.

The completed hotel and convention center is expected to create 432 jobs and have a total economic impact of $44.4 million.

The university will lease an 11-acre site, the former track and field complex between Red Wolf Boulevard and Olympic Drive, for the project.

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Information from: The Jonesboro Sun, http://www.jonesborosun.com

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