A major investment in Muscatine and especially its downtown, is now open. Thursday a ribbon cutting will be held to celebrate the completion of The Merrill Hotel and Conference Center. The 44 million dollar, 6-story hotel, is located along West Mississippi Drive, and across from the city's River Walk Park.
Director of Sales and Marketing, Lori Denney, says the investors, many of them local residents and companies, see this as a way to give back to the community.
"A lot of the folks involved in this project use the term that the hotel is serving as an 'economic engine.' To bring businesses to the Muscatine area and to help revitalize the downtown area, specifically."
The conference center is located on the top floor of The Merrill, and includes the Grand Ballroom with windows on three sides overlooking the Mississippi River.
"You get a phenomenal view. The ballroom has windows that are floor to ceiling, so it's just spectacular, it's un-obstructed, and it's the wow factor of the hotel."
Denney calls it a "full-service luxury hotel," that'll cater to business travelers during the week and families on weekends. The fitness center includes a heated indoor saltwater pool.
It's named for the long-time leader of HON Corporation, Stanley Merrill Howe - one of the major investors is the Howe Foundation.
The ribbon cutting will be held Thursday afternoon at 1:30.