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Tuesday, February 20, 2007

A herd of white elephants, coast to coast

Let's see. The city's convention center is a flop -- hemorrhaging money -- and the answer is supposed to be a huge, taxpayer-built headquarters hotel. Sound familiar?

Add Washington, D.C. to the growing list of cities in that boat. The nation's capital can't make the convention business work -- as the Washington Post plainly states, "Most convention centers lose money or barely break even." But trust Metro -- Portland, Oregon can. All we need is for the taxpayers to build that hotel!

Comments (13)

Not too long ago I was in DC in the Convention Center area. It is directly near the heart of downtown DC, near the capitol, has numerous hotels nearby, has great public transit service as well as METRO service directly at the front door, it is a fine building, and it has various other public uses, buildings nearby. Plus DC is definitely a "convention center city" with numerous conventions being held through the year. But it is financially troubled.

Why do we in Portland keep adding massive amounts of public money to our Convention Center when the concept of "Conventions" is not typically a money machine. Not every city can be THE convention city. Let's recognize this.

Maybe if we tore out all the roads around the convention center and put in bike paths and a greenway and offered to feed conventioneers a couple of handfuls of oatmeal soaked in water overnight.

Not every city can be THE convention city. Let's recognize this.

I think pretty much everybody but Bragdon, Burkholder & Co. DOES recognize this. Good thing they're not in charge.

Hey... I thought there was to be some kind of vote last week of the Metro Council on this reputed Convention Hotel bidness.

What became of that?

As I understand it, Metro unanimously passed a resolution continuing the planning process for the hotel. A couple of them expressed skepticism about the project, and then voted yes anyway.

The Movable Scam is still very much on.

From this article, I noted three separate references to the urgency of moving ahead now:

... Metro accepted the development team chosen by the PDC, rather than launching its own search for a developer, which staff said could delay construction by two years.

... Some councilors said they wanted the study, expected to take three to six months, to include smaller and cheaper hotel options. However, Metro attorney Dan Cooper said he doubted there would be time for that.

... "Don't get in the trap of endless studies," said Jeff Miller, president and chief executive of the Portland Oregon Visitors Association.

Can someone tell me what the hurry is here?

The public is catching on.

The public is catching something.
A bad case of boondoggle blues.

A new convention center hotel will be lucky to fill rooms 1/3 of the time. At least the downtown hotels have some hope of occupancy in between the major convention center events that draw out of towners. Exactly which public wallet is Metro proposing cover the tab when this thing goes belly up?

The fact is this new Hotel will not add any major conventions to the floundering convention center.
But that doesn't matter.

Remember that you voted against the convention center expansion and Metro went right around your vote and schemed a way to expand it anyway.

Now they won't even bother asking you about the Hotel.
That alone should educate most people enough to know the Hotel plan is just another lesson in official incompetence and dishonesty.

Unfortuantely, all of the banter used trying to pursuade voters to support the Convention Center expansion is all but forgotten.

So those Metro counselors and other wise people who did the bantering can smile while now voting for and pushing the Hotel.

Robert Liberty hasn't even had the decency to respond to three emails I sent him months ago requesting information on this issue. Way to go Robert, Yeh! your all about integrity and transparency. Yeh! sure.

mroc how about writing that in letters to the editor at the WW, Trib and BigOH!The Nickle

Liberty and the rest of the Metro, PDC TriMet cabal have all but substituted integrity and transparency
with certain "CITIZEN" wordSMITHers who help them pretend they are doing what the public needs and/or wants.

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