Paducah could lose Quilt Show - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Paducah, KY

Paducah could lose Quilt Show

Paducah's Executive Inn Paducah's Executive Inn
Paducah Mayor Bill Paxton Paducah Mayor Bill Paxton

Paducah could lose Quilt Show
By: Erica Byfield

PADUCAH, Ky. - A local event that brings thousands of people into the Heartland every year could be moving. Paducah's quilt show has been drawing crowds since 1985. Just last week thousands of quilters from across the world spent time in the city and left their economic stamp on the community by spending millions of dollars.

We now know the host of the show, the American Quilters Society, is thinking about taking the show somewhere else. 

The issue is the success of the show itself, but the condition of the Executive Inn, also known as the Big E. It and the Convention Center in town play co-host for the conference.

After years of getting complaints from quilters, the people in charge of the show say if they don't see drastic improvements in the hotel; they are ready to move the show.

Tina Baker's store literally survives because of the quilt show. "Something like that would definitely shut our store down if they discontinued the quilt show here."

Baker set up a booth at the show last week and according to her latest tabulations, she raked in nearly 200 thousand dollars.

But that's not all she caught wind of. "I had a booth over at the quilt show this year and people would come by taking about how nasty the rooms where."

Mayor Bill Paxton's heard the same complaints and is sweating bullets about the possible pull out. "30 to 40 thousand people in Paducah for a week and they spend 17 million plus dollars, no I don't want it to move."

He met with the quilt show leaders and they say the bottom line is the new owner of the hotel has to make repairs before they agree to sign their 2008 contract. "The future of this quilt show is in his lap and we need his help, we need him to step up and do what he said he was going to do" said Mayor Paxton.

Bonnie Browning with the America Quilters Society said "we have to a contract somewhere and certainly we want it to be in Paducah, but we will have to wait and see."

Tina Baker can't even stomach the idea of the quilt show leaving Paducah and says she's praying the hotels remodeled, so she doesn't loose her business. "I just hope we still have the quilt show here it would be devastating, not only the store owners, restaurants and everyone else involved because the whole town turns out for the quilt show."

Bonnie Browning adds if they do not have the contract for the 2008 quilt show signed by mid-June, they'll have to figure something else out.

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