Dallas’s proposed city-owned convention center hotel is 9 mistakes wrapped in one package:
- Fiscally stupid. The convention center loses $3 million a year. The hotel costs half a billion dollars. That’s 166 years of convention center losses! So you say I should consider return on investment, but…
- Success not assured. The convention industry’s future is uncertain. In addition to broad economic pressure, telepresence technology is rapidly maturing, and the green movement frowns upon travel.
- It’s a distraction. City resources used developing and monitoring the hotel come from other city functions.
- Can hurt taxpayers. Even though revenue bonds finance the hotel, they are still backed by Dallas taxpayers. If the hotel can’t pay the bonds, taxpayers will!
- Can hurt credit rating. If taxpayers must pay the bonds, that effectively increases Dallas’s indebtedness, hurting credit ratings. Credit ratings affect how much Dallas can borrow. Since Dallas puts almost any improvement on the “bond credit card,” good credit ratings are critical.
- If it was so assured, a private company would have done it already. We have many wealthy developers with access to vast amounts of capital. They would have already done such an assured project.
- It’s socialism. The city has no business competing in a well-functioning, established private market.
- Ugly as hell. Looks like those ’50s-style “office buildings of the future”:
- Harlan Crow is not evil. Yes, Harlan Crow is financing virtually all the anti-hotel effort. But he’s done a lot of good for Dallas. And he’s right.
Please join me in voting YES on Dallas Proposition 1. Stop the hotel. It’s 9 mistakes wrapped in one package.