Cities all around the US are falling for this Convention Hotel nonsense.
Taxpayers pay for losses but don't reap the profits (if there are any).With such a large vacancy rate it is even crazier.Convention
Planners look at many factors when deciding on cities: airport access, climate,
restaurants, convention floor space, etc. Walking one block to an existing
hotel is not a deal-breaker for a Convention Planner.
I agree that gov't ( taxpayers ) should not partner in this kind of a deal.If it
works out the private investers will get the profit. If it don't work out the
Taxpayer will be left holding the bag or the losses.
I think that Mayor Corroon is on the right path. I think that government,
especially one that says it does not have enough money to pay the existing
bills, like Salt Lake County, should in NO WAY participate in building a hotel.
If it is such a great offer and the rooms would be filled, there would be tons
of hotel chains that should/would pick up on the idea. When government gets
involved, money and taxpayers lose. Take for example, even though it was thought
that the last Salt Palace event center was so bad off and not safe, says our
Salt Lake County people, when they went to tear it down, it wouldn't come down.
They were then thrust into what they were going to do to be able to topple a
building that was in such bad shape it should have fallen down long before
that... Anyway, having the Salt Lake Chamber do a study is like having a wolf
watch the hen house where this is concerned. I would not mind if a hotel got
SOME few tax breaks to get started then its "play with the big boys and
girls" after that.
So here's my question: IF the hotel is built, and IF that results in many more
tax dollars from convention business, HOW does the local tax-paying citizen
benefit from the enlarged tax collections? I'm betting it is just anorther
example of "spend every penny you have" and "the more you have
the more you can spend" attitude of government.I hope
Farmington, who finally is getting some retail business in the city with the
Station Park development---after decades of virtually nothing except a single
grocery store and one amusement park, will reduce taxes from the added revenue
but we all know what they'll do and that is "spend every nickel" they
The City of San Antonio,TX built a taxpayer funded Convention Headquarters Hotel
for the very same reason with disastrous results. The only thing they received
was. Weakening of hotel revenue (less hotel occupancy tax collected for the city
and county) along with a huge new debt to be paid off. The larger conventions
the taxpayers were duped into believing would come did not The 1300 room hotel
they built now fills itself with ridiculously low rate business forcing every
other hotel in town to respond to try to keep their doors open. I
highly Doubt anyone deep in the heart of Texas would advise SLC to do the same.
I agree with the comment that the LDS church would already be moving forward on
making this happen if it were a good idea. Let someone else
privately finance this not me and my tax dollars.
If a "headquarters hotel" makes economic sense, private developers
will build it and profit from it. There are two Marriotts, a Hilton
and a Raddison within a block or two of the Salt Palace. If they thought it
would be profitable to expand they would.Temple Square, the Church
History complex and the new City Creek development occupy all the land north and
east of the Salt Palace. Maybe the LDS Church would like go help develop a big
hotel, but I trust their business judgement a lot more than that of a bunch of
politicians or hired consultants.And, every year the outdoor
retailers threaten to go elsewhere, not because of a lack of hotel rooms, but
for lack of sufficient exhibition space. Given the limited land available,
which is needed more- exhibit space or hotel rooms.Or, should Salt
Lake be content to live within our means, and happily host mid-size conventions
that fit comfortably within our existing exhibit and lodging facilities?Tax dollars should not be used for building hotels, period!