Is Salt Lake convention hotel a boon or bust for hotels, convention industry?

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  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    Jan. 7, 2014 3:02 p.m.

    Marriott went in partnership in Philadelphia to develop a big convention hotel next to their convention center. Basically Philadelphia floated the bond to build it. That hotel has prospered as well as the other hotels in the immediate area ever since due to increased convention business.

    Marriott should have expanded the hotel on West Temple years ago, then this conversation wouldn't even be happening. They didn't so if a private/public partnership is reached, they may lose out due to their short sightedness. Oh well.

    Sometimes public/private partnerships are not a bad thing as long as any tax credit is reasonable and not too long.

  • Lilljemalm Gilbert, AZ
    Jan. 7, 2014 9:53 a.m.

    I meant 1000 to 1300 rooms.

  • Lilljemalm Gilbert, AZ
    Jan. 7, 2014 9:49 a.m.

    You have to consider the source and it's agenda. This organization is anti-spend and will only report that which promotes that agenda. Take the study with a grain of salt and look further into it like Makid did. Under current and average conditions, the gains far outweigh losses from building the hotel. The costs to the governments involved are not burdensome and are in line with subsidies/tax breaks offered to other industries and companies. The Salt Palace, as it is, is not sufficient and remodeling it won't do it. The additional meeting space and adjoinging 1000+ room hotel are needed to attract the larger more lucrative conventions. The largest conventions that SLC can attract now tend to fill up all hotel rooms throughout the valley. I consistently find it difficult to find a room on the Wasatch Front when there is a convention in town. My own organization cannot hold a convention there due to the lack of a convention hotel; we generally need 100 to 1300 rooms in one building.

  • Third try screen name Mapleton, UT
    Jan. 7, 2014 9:36 a.m.

    Beware the public-private business schemes, regardless of the rationale.

  • romeisn'tburning layton, ut
    Jan. 7, 2014 9:05 a.m.

    I don't know if anyone realizes that the Outdoor Retailers Convention comes to Salt Lake City twice a year and has an economic impact of approximately $40 million. This very convention considered relocating to Denver last year due to the fact that the convention has been so successful that it needs more space. Fortunately, the state stepped in and offered to put up 150,000 square foot tent for the convention until 2016, but after that date the convention will look at other cities again and if this project isn't done or under construction by then, they will leave. Conventions have huge economic impacts on the local economy, and encourage convention going companies to do business year round in Utah. Subsidizing a public meeting space to attract more conventions and more money makes sense and that is the ultimate goal. The hotel itself is not going to be subsidized the 80,000-100,000 square foot meeting space will be. Does Utah or Salt Lake City not have the right to take actions to be competitive with other cities?

  • Concerned1 South Jordan, UT
    Jan. 7, 2014 7:21 a.m.

    Government should help promote the free enterprise system, not compete against it.

  • Say No to BO Mapleton, UT
    Jan. 7, 2014 6:40 a.m.

    Building a convention center next to a convention center. What's wrong with this picture?
    The whole idea is embarrassing. It basically says that the Salt Palace is an ineffective facility that cannot be fixed by remodeling.
    They at least could have put their new convention center near the airport...or Park City...or south valley.
    But they want it right downtown.

  • Makid Kearns, UT
    Jan. 7, 2014 5:41 a.m.

    Let's see: If we finance the meeting space and a private developer builds the hotel, other hotels would face a loss of $105 Million over 5 years and then start seeing positive growth? From my understanding that is a worst case scenario. It would take approximately 7 to 10 years to return to an occupancy level of nearly 74% at a worst case level.

    Or, we don't do any financing for meeting space, no large hotel is built because no private developer is going to spend $100 Million on basically public space. This will result in a near immediate loss of $40 Million a year just from Outdoor Retailer leaving. That is a $120 Million loss in approximately 3 years and that is a best case scenario. A worst case scenario is we also lose some other larger conventions.

    Of hotel losses - $105 Million over 5 years but returning to normal after 7 to 10 years with the space:

    Or - $40 - $70 Million lost each year with a 15 to 20 year time frame to return to current levels without the space.

    Now, why wouldn't we want to do this exactly? We aren't paying for the hotel, just the public space within the hotel.

  • My2Cents Taylorsville, UT
    Jan. 7, 2014 2:31 a.m.

    The existing hotels are right and the state will drive them out of business. Its an example of why it is unconstitutional for governemnt to compete with free market and free enterprise business ventures. The government has the advantages of tax free funds and unlimited investments resources and private business cannot compete with.

    The state of Utah and governmnet is not authorized to make theses kinds of expenditures of public funds and public money. Look at what it did to Detroit, Michigan and we are copy cat greed following the same path to destruction. Michigan governemnt tried to take over industry jobs and created a backlash of incompetent and unprofitable corporations funded by taxes and it destroyed a states economy.

    To make Utah a destination city for conferences by undercutting free enterprise with low cost tax funded competition Utah cannot sustain. Corporations cannot compete with low cost government undermining the profits of free enterprise so they will shut down and move out and Utah will be stuck with another white elephant public works investment property putting government at risk to failure.

    Utah is better off with economic growth limited to free enterprise can provide.