Unfinished floors and concrete beams were the back-drop for Moving Forward Wichita's event for voters. Developer Paul Coury invited Wichitans to walk around the hotel site and ask questions about the Ambassador Hotel tax referendum vote at the end of the month.
“That's kind of the reason I came to find out for sure for myself, instead of hearing someone else's opinion because I want to make my own decision,” voter Bruce Anspaugh said.
This group supports a "yes" vote. That would allow the developers to use millions of dollars in guest tax revenue raised by the hotel.
"If this vote goes our way, we will be able to receive that money for 15 years and help subsidize some of the costs of this and operations of this,” Coury said.
If the referendum doesn't pass, the tax money would go to convention and tourism. And Coury would have to make cuts.
"This is a luxury boutique. We may have to cut back on some decisions, some amenities. Maybe we don't pay at the level we were hoping to pay,” Coury said.
Jobs brought some people to the event.
"It's important for how other developers will look at doing business with Wichita. So we think it's important for this thing to move forward and hopefully, it will turn into a lot of jobs in the future,” voter Richard Taylor said.
For others, they were just curious about the project that has caused so much controversy.
"I want to know more about what's going on with my money,” voter Carolyn Bennett said.
The group asking for a "no" vote on the referendum argues public funds should not be used on private developments. Instead, they should be used on public services. The special election for Wichita residents is February 28th.