There are only two groups of people who think that a downtown hotel is a good idea: people who stand to make big money building one, and politicians who rely on the first group for donations. It’s a pipe dream that such a hotel would ever achieve more than a 50% occupancy rate, and there is NOT A CHANCE N THE WORLD that the taxpayers will not get stuck with a multi-million dollar tab.
Who wants Kansas City taxpayers to shoulder yet another multi-million dollar failure? Construction companies, development lawyers, cab companies, downtown landowners, and politicians who are controlled by that same group. Unfortunately, in KC, that means all politicians, even the genial ones. Oh, and the unquestioning development cheerleaders at the Star – one mustn’t forget about them!
Mayor James is wrong, horribly wrong, on the downtown hotel issue.
As I wrote just over a year ago,
First, understand that the big money wants to build a big, expensive hotel downtown, regardless of the consequences for the rest of the city. Why? Because there is a lot of money for them to make, while they bear no risk at all for the inevitable failure of their false projections.
$300,000,000. That’s the low end of what the project is anticipated to cost. That is money that will be spent – pure economic heroin jabbed into the arms of development lawyers, construction companies, consultants and landowners. Three. Hundred. Million. Dollars. (Plus the cost over-runs and change orders and litigation and – well, I would continue on but I can sense the development community reading these words as the hottest form of pornography they can imagine, and I hate to give them that much pleasure.)
Make no mistake. If this downtown hotel idea were a good idea, it would get built with private funds. The only reason Kansas City taxpayers are getting tossed into the mix is because somebody other than the politicians and their donors needs to be put on the hook for the inevitable failure.