This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on July 5, 2005 12:55 PM. The previous post in this blog was Wrecking Randy's weekend. The next post in this blog is A million of 'em. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Tuesday, July 5, 2005

Dear Sal Kadri

Dear Sal Kadri:

As you settle in as a new commissioner-designate on the Portland Development Commission, I'm sure you're getting lots of advice from lots of quarters. Front and center, no doubt, is the big snow job about how badly we, the taxpayers of Portland, need to hurry up and build a huge hotel near our white elephant convention center. Eventually we'll give the hotel away to a big corporation, and then, I'm sure they're telling you, the convention business that the convention center has never brought here since Bud Clark built it 20 years ago will miraculously materialize.

Mr. Kadri: Please don't do it!

Portland's never been a big convention town, and it never will be. I've laid out the reasons why here. And the situation hasn't gotten any better since I wrote that. It's gotten harder and harder to make conventioneering pay. Other cities have tried and failed. Please take a look at this study. Portland isn't going to do any better than anyone else.

The money we spent on the hideous convention center expansion, which was enough to make up the city's share of the cost of building a major league baseball stadium, is gone. We'll never get it back. The voters tried to tell Mayor Katz, her economic development chief Sam Adams, and Commissioner Sten that it was a big, bad idea. But they didn't listen, and they made a very unwise investment. For two years, the new wing has stood completely empty most of the time.

As a small businessperson, you are quite familiar, I know, with the concept of throwing good money after bad. There are so many places in our city that badly need renewal. Let's spend money in a wise way that will help the largest number of Portlanders. A hotel giveaway isn't it. Please cut our losses and take a stand against it.

Thank you, and best of luck in your term on the PDC.

Jack Bogdanski

Comments (8)

I agree, Jack, but something tells me that in four years you're going to be writing the same post about the proposed tram extension to the convention center hotel.

Doesn't the baseball stadium proposal suffer from similar problems?

Good luck and blog's speed!!!

If the baseball stadium had been built, it would have brought 20,000-plus people into the heart of town (including many from out of town) for 81 games a year. It would have brought more tourists here in five years than the convention center has in 20.

Good luck and blog's speed!!!

He he! A good one.

If the baseball stadium had been built

Well, that's a big "if." It was pretty obvious that MLB always wanted to build in D.C., and that the show they went through about considering other cities was just a ruse to drive down Peter Angelos' asking price to cut into his D.C. market.

There will be other teams up for a move. But the City of Portland won't be ready for them. We'll be busy with (and broke over) the hotel.

I would take AAA baseball at Civic Stadium any time over the overpriced and blinding spectacle of the Bigs.

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