Hammons ‘back in the saddle’ after surgery

Matt Wagner, SBJ ReporterSpringfield hotelier John Q. Hammons underwent surgery late last year, but he’s fully recovered and “back in the saddle,” according to right-hand man Scott Tarwater.

Media reports of the 89-year-old Hammons falling ill began surfacing late last year. Here’s one from The Idaho Statesman.

John Q. HammonsTarwater, senior vice president of development for John Q. Hammons Hotels & Resorts Inc., politely declined to reveal the nature of his boss’ health issues, although he did say that Hammons has finished the required rehabilitation and been cleared by his physicians.

“It needed to be done. It was done. And he’s back in the saddle,” Tarwater said, adding that the surgery didn’t delay any of the company’s hotel projects.

In the last three months, Hammons opened hotels in Murfreesboro, Tenn.; San Marcos, Texas; and Norman, Okla. Next on the list this spring are hotels in Normal, Ill., and Loveland, Colo.

Tarwater said Hammons is still in a holding pattern regarding a four-star hotel in downtown Springfield between the Expo Center and Jordan Valley Car Park. In September, City Council granted Hammons’ request to move the hotel’s construction date back to April 1, 2010, in hopes frozen credit markets would thaw out.

“The financial markets have got to right themselves and come back to some semblance of sanity,” Tarwater said.

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