Crowdfunding campaign launched to bring hotel to Knox

Published: Mar. 20, 2023 at 6:55 PM EDT
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KNOX, Ind. (WNDU) - There may soon be a hotel to check out in Knox.

The Starke County Economic Development Foundation has launched a campaign to bring an upper-midscale hotel to Knox.

The people of Knox want you to know there’s a lot more going on in their town than you might think! But they don’t just want people to swing by for a visit; they want you to stay a while in this All-American town.

The city and the Starke County Convention and Visitors Commission conducted a feasibility study and found a need for 50 to 60-room upper-midscale hotels.

“There’s visitors that come in just to visit families, and they don’t necessarily have a place to stay, so they’ll stay out of town. I think a hotel would do very well here,” said Karl Swihart, parks superintendent for the city of Knox.

There are currently no franchise hotels in Starke County, and none on U.S. 35 between LaPorte and Logansport, which are 70 miles apart.

“Our local industry, they’re just crying for a hotel,” said Lisa Dan, of the Starke County Econ. Dev. Foundation. “They literally fly people into the Starke County Airport, and then they ship them to Marshall County or Porter County, or LaPorte County for accommodations. So, if we can just keep pushing it out there, we hope that the right investor will come along and think that this is a fantastic project.”

Knox holds multiple national softball tournaments in the summer, as well as concerts, festivals, and Starke County is home to popular tourist attractions like swimming and fishing on Bass and Koontz Lake, kayaking on the Yellow River, and a blast from the past at the Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum.

“I’ve had people that have moved into Knox from other cities, and they say that we are a hallmark community, because we just have so many events and stuff going on for the people,” said Knox Mayor Dennis Estok.

Officials with the county and city want to thank one of their own who offered up some of his lands to be the new hotel’s location.

“Dr. Weaver is a dentist right down the street, and he purchased that property, potentially for a future dental office. But he offered to basically invest three acres of that land for the hotel project or sell it at a fair market rate to a group of investors. So, we’re excited that we have a location and it’s perfect; right on U.S. 35,” Lisa Dan said.

Executive Director Dan told 16 News Now that the city needs to secure anywhere from $1.5 to $2.5 million dollars to get this project off the ground. They are hopeful that investors will see the potential in the venture and want to help put Knox on the map.

To donate to the campaign, click on this link.