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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The new convention center has brought in a good amount of visitors but one man says his idea will attract even more folks to the center and the rest of the Cape Fear. John Voet says his hotel ship is what Wilmington needs. He’s proposing docking the ship downtown along the river walk. But for now, Mayor Bill Saffo says the city will not be moving forward with Voet’s proposal.

“The biggest issue from my perspective is, whether it’s John or anybody else, is the infrastructure you would have to improve to bring any kind of vessel in. It’s money the city just doesn’t have right now,” Saffo said.

That’s not what John Voet wants to hear. He says a downtown hotel ship is right for the Port City. “Wilmington and our waterfront should be taken advantage of. This is what people come here for.”

The mayor agrees it may be a great addition to downtown but he says besides the need to fund new infrastructure for the ship, he has some personal reasons why he’s hesitant to move forward. “The ships that I saw, I felt that the rooms were too small,” Saffo said.

But Voet says space is no issue and Wilmington visitors and residents will be missing out if his ship can’t dock downtown.

“It brings in outside visitors, it brings in the new prospect of event planners to book our convention center. It brings in something for Wilmingtonians to enjoy on a daily basis for special events be it weddings, be it special dinners, be it going and having a drink on the waterfront. And it’s also good for economic development on downtown as well.”

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  • wilm

    Funny watching yesterday on the news, Saffo discussing “his” vision of Downtown and the waterfront… A park, quality development, bla bla…
    This was within hours of expressing his opinion of the hotel-ship idea and the suggestion of it “blocking” our riverfront view with Voet’s ship.

    Anyone happen to notice the mural of historic Wilmington behind the Mayor during his comments? Have a look again… he is standing in front of a mural-painting of our historic waterfront and in that painting is ship after ship docked on our waterfront in the Port City!!

    Wilmington may have never been anything without ships and the group suggesting a ship as a hotel and attraction is right on in saying that ships are part of our history as a city.
    We should welcome innovative ideas that could make our city someplace special and will obviously will bring new visitors ( and their spending $$)to downtown.

    Small rooms? Come on…Anyone ever thats been on a ship realizes they are on a ship. They have stages, dining rooms, clubs, deck space, ambiance, charm and romance.
    Don’t care for that? book a room at Motel 6 on Market St….

    I think this opportunity is great, in so many new ways, for this City. Lets not lose it!

  • Guesttoo

    This is a little confusing to me…that the city would even “float” this idea (sorry). Having spent millions on a river-walk and preserving a view of the river, here is a proposal to block said view with a huge structure!

    This is just another distraction to the real issue at hand…build a motel at the convention center, as proposed, and be done with it. Why is that so difficult?

  • Guest4now

    You’re welcome for the idea Wilmington.

    All issues solved. Every night at 11pm it goes to the bottom of the Cape Fear. It resurfaces at 6am. If you need to leave before 6am you get shot out in an empty torpedo tube.

  • Guest Builder

    I wonder if anyone knows what’s in the bilge directly aft of the crash bulkhead.

    I can’t say it’s still there, it was put there at the time this ship was nearing completion.

    I think you would have been surprised.

    I know I was.

    There was a reason something was put there, a very good reason.

    Why is that important?

    When Common says “sink this idea”, he may not be that far off.

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