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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Like baloney?

Here's some choice sandwich loaf for you: The taxpayer-financed Portland Convention Center Hotel project is "on life support" and "[i]If the [Metro] council is not willing to approve the additional time and money Thursday, the concept of a publicly financed hotel probably will die."

Now, that's comedy. The thing has stunk to high heaven for 18 years, and still somehow has never been killed off, but this Thursday, we really mean it, this could be the end?

In your dreams.

They'll just keep putting it off, putting it off... Sooner or later the public will get sufficiently distracted that the Metro gang will make one of the Old Boys even richer on the little taxpayer's dime by building this white elephant. The people who stand to make their millions off the project -- old Hank Ashforth, one of the architecture dandy firms, and probably Hoffman Construction -- they know how to keep hanging around. Unlike the regular people who have to give up a chunk of their lives to sit in endless meetings in order to fight irresponsible junk like this proposal, for the proponents it's just all in a day's work.

Or a year's.

Or a decade's.

Comments (12)

The voters will never approve another Metro bond measure in the future if Metro wastes money on this project.

After testifying at the Metro hearing against this project, I was taken aback when businessman Roy Jay later testified that we hotel critics should stop complaining and support the project.

Jay said, "We are team players in this city.” I didn't know that.

Too bad that in this case our "team" will be playing a losing game by trying to salvage the $90 million original convention center funding and the $116 million expansion funding by raising another $244 million more for this hotel project. I guess our "team" doesn't understand the concept of sunk costs.

And the more griping about everything, with its attendant delays, means the costs will go up, and provide grist for the gripe mill. Perfect!

Here's my take on the numbers: The admitted taxpayer subsidy for the new hotel is around 8 million a year, so adding the bullshit tax that will probably come to 12 million. That's around 1 million a month or rounding down a little, $30,000 a day. If the rooms are $200 a night, we would be kicking in 150 rooms worth of money out of 600 proposed, so that's exactly 25%. Now of course our government officials are pro-business and all about fairness, right? So that means, all we have to do is pay the other hotels that already exist in this town whatever 25% of their room rentals would be each and every day. Then everything will work out great. The free market is a wonderful thing, isn't it?

Kinda like the 205 MAX line. Voted down twice, yet still being built. (As an aside, I'm curious how all the greenies feel about the 50 or so old growth Doug Firs that were mowed down for this boodoggle--- way to go Metro! You really seem to care about the environment.)

It'll be a while, but this hotel will be subsidized and built on our dime.

...curious how all the greenies feel about the 50 or so old growth Doug Firs that were mowed down for this boodoggle...

I'm not a supporter of this MAX line, but where, pray tell would one find "old growth" firs on the I-205 corridor? And what age would you define "old growth" to be?

"And the more griping about everything, with its attendant delays, means the costs will go up,"

Hey, do you understand this is a bad idea contrived to cover-up for another bad idea, the convention center?

Please kill it and stop wasting our time. No one wants it beside Metro and POVA for their own self-interest, yet we keep this thing alive until in a weak moment they slip it on the taxpayers.

City after city has shown this is a money-losers, yet the locals haev enough hubris to believe they are different.

Sam, the scam already has plans for the city and PDC to bankroll this white elephant. As for the voters, they're so DUM they vote yes on everything.Must be that BULL RUNS water.

The key stat is the number of days the politicians' hotel would really be bringing in a single extra dollar to Portland. In other words, the big conventions that won't come now. Once we got past the help this would give to local construction unions, I bet that would still only happen on around 65 days of the year and that's being wildly optimistic. It could be far less. We're not talking about Vegas here. So what takes place on the other 300 days? The new pretend hotel would just be taking business away from the hotels that are already built. And not only that, it could offer a discount based on the fact that they're subsidized by the taxpayers, and losing money anyway. The end result is we could lose real hotels, and then wonder why downtown seems more empty.
The most aggravating part of this is when the politicians pretend they're acting for wise, noble reasons. They are not.

I guess I never understood the benefits of a convention center. I always assumed it was to bring people into an area for economic purposes. Using that premise, a baseball stadium with a guaranteed 81 dates a year, averaging 20,000 per game would bring 1.6 million people to an area. Would the convention center even with a spiffy hotel match this number?

J: The voters will never approve....

I'm sure these words will live on long enough for you to regret them.

In today's snOregonian, Rod Park wants to delay the hotel vote to see if someone else besides METRO can help pay for it.

It's a done deal now, they want it.

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