Wednesday, January 14, 2009

NO Tax-Payer Owned Hotel

I went to Robert Ashley's Show (KHVN) along with Anne Raymond from Crow Holdings so that she could give our side of the issue on the taxpayer owned hotel. As I have stated before, I am a consultant for the Citizens Against a Taxpayer Owned Hotel. My intention was not to be on the show, but with Mr. Ashley's encouragement, I spoke my mind. Most people in the community who know me, know that I believe in doing my homework before I take a position on any issue. I take great pride in getting the information for myself and making an informed decision about where I will be on an issue. I am not a person that take second hand information and carry that tale. We all know what happens when something is repeated over and over. You have a new story.

I personally am not against a convention center hotel, but I am against the taxpayers taking the risk and the city owning the hotel. If it is such a good deal, let the private developers do what they do best, develop. Mr. Ashley informed us that he had ask Dwaine Caraway to come on the show and that he was told that they are not starting their campaign until February. I do not see that as a reason for us not to move forward with educating the community. The good thing about the show was that the callers were educated on the issue and clearly understand what is at risk.

While serving on the Executive Committee of the Greater Dallas Chamber, the taxpayers added dollars to the convention center for expansion because we were told that there was not enough meeting space. Taxpayers did that, and now the convention center is loosing about $4 million per year.

The issue of Minority Contractors participation is an interesting one. That question was raised on the show. People who have never been in business have a difficult time understanding the process. This might be a new day, but we do not award contracts to just a few contractors in the name of the community.

Facts To Remember:

Fact: We know that the city has capped the cost of building the hotel, but there are other expenses, like a $50 million dollar reserve, attorney's fees, cost of land, cost of financing the bonds, etc. which will add up to half a billion dollars or more.

Fact: The Omni Hotel in Fort Worth is not owned by the taxpayers. It is fully owned by Omni, with assistance by the city, therefore Omni is taking all of the risk.

Fact: People in favor of a Taxpayer owned hotel were not at the community meeting.

Fact: The low-end job creation will not help the struggling people in our community. We want jobs that will give a livable wage.

Fact: Dallas has an abundance of Hotel in downtown, Hyatt, Adolphus, Sheraton, Plaza of Americas, Jewel, Ritz Carlton, Fairmont, Magnolia, Crescent, Holiday Inn, and Indigo. Fort Worth downtown is more compact and they do not have the large number of hotels in their downtown area.

Fact: Hotels are not destinations. How often have you had people to say that I am going to a city so that I can stay in the Omni Hotel?

Fact: The largest number of citywide conventions in Dallas has been 20. Let's say that we get to that number again and that the conventions last for 5 days, that would give us a 100 days that the hotels are full, what about the other 265 days?

Fact: The hotels that we currently have pay taxes to the city of Dallas, and the convention center hotel will not be paying taxes.

Fact: Dwaine Caraway was on KNON not KHVN talking about the taxpayer owned hotel when I called the show. He did not want to take questions, but the Host, Rev. Barnett insisted. I guess some people do not know the difference between KHVN and KNON. Oh well, can't believe everybody who say they have facts.

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