Salt Lake politicos, industry debate role of government in hotel development

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  • John44 DALLAS, TX
    Aug. 28, 2011 7:56 p.m.

    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.

  • deseret pete robertson, Wy
    Aug. 28, 2011 6:14 p.m.

    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.

  • Let's be real Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 28, 2011 4:44 p.m.

    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.

  • toosmartforyou Farmington, UT
    Aug. 28, 2011 8:04 a.m.

    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 collect.

  • garysticht Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 28, 2011 7:21 a.m.

    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.

  • DN Subscriber Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 27, 2011 9:01 p.m.

    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!