This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on December 10, 2008 4:51 AM. The previous post in this blog was Move over, nice 'dog. The next post in this blog is Message from Detroit. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Dear Ted Wheeler and Sam the Tram

As we "continue the conversation" on the infernal Oregon Convention Center hotel scam, be sure to "converse" about this.

Comments (11)

Jack, congratulations. You just made 5 million dollars for taking the analysis to the next level.

I can't imagine that "they" would continue this hotel scam...
On the other hand I suppose "they" will continue the hotel scam.
SO depressing when this happens

But Jaaaaack? Don't you realize that Portland is different? We are going to build silver LEED certified crunchy granola eco-roof hotels that progressives will demand to fill to capacity even during an economic downturn.

It is amazing that the existing lodging vendors have been unable to kill off this turkey: the hospitality lobby apparently lacks the clout of the developer and building trades lobby.

I think our mistake here is assuming there's a connection between these spending projects and how they will work later in the real world.
Arguing about real world performance is a complete waste of time. It's not even a factor in the decision-making. As soon as there's a way to describe the benefits of the project in glowing terms, that part of the planning is done. What do they care if it doesn't work out? They'll be onto the next project by then, pausing only to give each other plaques for the terrific job they did with the last scam, and then starting the endless spin about the wonders of the project to come.

It is amazing the the editors in today's Oregonian editorial believe that $5 Million dollars will get them through the next phase of the "discussion" of the Hotel and the $5M "includes architectural drawings". Find me an architectural firm that will do a government job for 1% of the $250 Million project. You can't!

Do these editors ever ask the obvious questions? Don't they have a background in business as they run their newspaper? Maybe not.

Do you think all the additional economic studies, financing analysis, all the city/Metro, Multnomah, PDC, etc. governments can perform their "reviews" for the remaining 1% to make up the $5 Million? No.

Why does the Oregonian leave us to play the Tram game again?

"Do these editors ever ask the obvious questions?"

To the editors it's other people's money, why should they care any more than METRO, Sam or the county?

in the past 10 years, have even a fraction of the jobs promised by significant inner city development materialized?

the answer is either "no", or "we don't know."

in other words, when you hear a project promises to deliver x dollars in business and y number of jobs, you can safely ignore both figures--they're fictional.

but if you question this history and reality, you'll often get hostility or blithe justification. looking backward is almost taboo.

the real truth is, we already know the priorities we *should* have. we just don't like them. we already know what to do; we just don't want to do it.

I'm only hoping when they build this thing (and they will, they're just going through the motions so people don't sue their asses off) that in all of it's sustainable greeny-goodness, that it has a damn nice view of the freeway, and all the snarled traffic that the QUARTER BILLION dollars could have gone a nice way towards fixing.

Hey Ted -
I've got a GREAT idea. If we really want to spend money then how about we open the hotel that we already built but have yet to use. WAPATO jail would be a great place to house some nasty criminals and get them off the street. We've already built it and we already know that it will just suck money to run - but at least it will give us something for our money (less criminals), the proposed hotel will just suck tax money with no monetary or social payback.

damn nice view of the freeway, and all the snarled traffic that the QUARTER BILLION dollars could have gone a nice way towards fixing

Sorry, but if you have a job that you go to in a car, Portland doesn't want you.

I am too busy working to keep track of what the County is paying for these days. With a 35 million plus shortage for the next budget is the County really going to pay for a hotel?

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