VFW ‘Will Make It Work’ After Hotel Sale Impacts Statewide Conference Plan

PIKEVILLE, Ky. (WYMT) – When the town of Pikeville announced plans to turn one of its hotels into a dormitory, many people shared their concerns.

From tourism to taxes, city officials had a range of issues with the decision, but other groups who expressed similar issues included local VFW posts.

“The VFW is an organization designed to help veterans and their families. If we cannot meet and cannot work, then we have failed in our mission, ”said Chaplain Darren Atkins.

The Posts plan to host the statewide conference at the Appalachian Wireless Arena this fall, with a contract signed over a year ago at the Hilton Garden Inn, to ensure rooms are available. available for visiting veterans.

Now, with news of the upcoming loss of housing, the Posts are trying to prepare an alternative option.

“The municipal officials in Pikeville, they did everything they could to help us. They were really wonderful. The only problem we had is this hotel, ”said Dist. 14 Commander Jonathan Allen.

But, without any concrete confirmation from the hotel, Allen said the planning phase was at a standstill.

“I would think if they were going to sell it and don’t leave it to us, they would at least tell us,” Allen said.

The event, the men say, is planning and defending Kentucky veterans.

“It’s not just a social hour. It is not just a meeting time to meet old friends. We are doing real business that affects veterans in our communities, ”said Atkins.

Organizers said the issue would not only impact this year’s convention but also the following year, saying the only reason the region is now able to host the conference is because the accommodation was available to make it happen.

According to veterans, this year will mark the first time the event has been held in the region and the deal came with a two-year deal.

“It means a lot. Not only in eastern Kentucky, but in every other small town in Kentucky, the theater can now offer you to host conferences in their town. If we can make it work,” Allen said.

Atkins said many members, like former State Commander James Curry, have been pushing to see the conference in the region, but are no longer alive to see the fruits of that labor.

“We owe it to him to honor his memory and the work he did for the Kentucky Department to make sure this conference takes place here,” Atkins said.

Local post organizers say the problem isn’t with UPIKE’s dream to expand, but the hotel’s lack of communication amid the news. The actors hope to see something concrete in the coming days to better prepare the conference.

“We’re going to make it work,” Allen said. “I’ll have this conference in Pikeville one way or another.”

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