The beleaguered Collinsville Holiday Inn will officially go on the auction block May 13 as officials hope to move the property off state books in time for summer.
The announcement Wednesday is likely one of the last in a tortured history. Part of a large economic development program in 1982, the hotel was built with more than $13 million in state loans that were never repaid. It has been a boondoggle for state treasurers ever since.
The owners repeatedly claimed financial hardship and refinanced their loans. In 1995, they had tried to buy the property outright for a negotiated sum of $6.3 million, but political infighting in Springfield killed that deal. The debt now has grown to more than $32 million.
That was 1982! Now, the governments who meddle in land use more aggressively 25 years later have just mandated failure right out of their 5- and 10-year plans.
Now, back to the normally scheduled borrowing to help private developers steal land from its rightful owners for another strip mall with promised chain stores designed to reflect and retain the neighborhood’s unique flavor.