Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Can we really be of help?

In an article posted on on Wednesday, February 27, 2008, former County Commissioner (and current LCCCA board member) Sharron Nelson is quoted as saying:

"Our much-maligned Convention Center can capitalize on that if we work together to make it a success."

Would someone PLEASE explain exactly what "WE" can do to make the hotel and convention center project "a success"???

Contractually, all marketing and booking for the project is controlled by Interstate Hotels and Resorts:

"21 Operation of Convention Center. The Authority hereby authorizes and engages Manager as its exclusive agent to act as the operator and manager of the Convention Center during the Management Term, with exclusive responsibility and complete and full control and discretion in the operation, direction, management and supervision of the Convention Center."

Contracts and agreements for conventions and meetings are ALWAYS made directly between the event organizer and the convention center manager. People who are considering downtown Lancaster as a venue for their event aren't going to consider the opinion of local residents when deciding where to hold their event; their decision will be based on marketing materials, salesmanship, and contract negotiations with Interstate Hotels.

Some months ago, I personally asked Brian Sparacino from Interstate Hotels what influence the public can have on the project. After dancing around the subject, he clearly admitted that the public has NO influence over bringing convention or meeting business to the taxpayer-financed convention center.

Sharron Nelson is doing the people of Lancaster City and County a great disservice by perpetuating the fiction that "WE" can have any kind of effect at all on the "success" of the hotel and convention center project.