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Owensboro hotel to go down piece by piece

OWENSBORO — A formerly grand hotel in Owensboro won't have a grand explosion to end its existence.

Instead, the 32-year-old Executive Inn Rivermont will come down the old-fashioned way — piece by piece.

Owensboro city operations manager Tony Cecil told the Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer that none of the low bidders to demolish the hotel planned to implode it. Instead, Cecil said, all opted for conventional demolition methods.

Denney Excavating Inc. of Plainfield, Ind., submitted the apparent low bid to tear down the 550-room hotel.

The Executive Inn Rivermont, once a popular entertainment venue where famous acts performed, is being demolished after it closed because of financial troubles.

Cecil said only two of the 14 companies that bid mentioned the use of explosives; one as an alternative method at no lower cost and another as an option at a much higher cost.

"Apparently (implosion) is not a viable way to do it," Cecil said. "Honestly, we were surprised."

Denney Excavating's bid package has been reviewed and no problems were found, Cecil said.

"We're making sure we understand their work plan, and the county needs to know when the debris will start arriving," Cecil said.

Denney Excavating's bid to tear down the hotel was $1,022,500. The next-lowest bid came from Yager Materials/Gaddis Excavating of Owensboro, which submitted a bid of $1,141,500.

Denney Excavating has an excavator that can reach 73 feet, high enough to reach the top of the hotel or very close to it, Cecil said.

Brett Rape, chief estimator and project manager for Denny Excavating, said it would cost $200,000 more to use explosives.

"If it were taller, yes, implosion might have been more cost-effective," Rape said.

Rape said the company will start at the top of the building and "chew it" down from there. The building should be torn down by June 30, he said.

"I think we can do it quite a bit quicker than that, depending on the weather," he said.