I agree entirely on the Lancaster Alliance issue...they are the real power in Lancaster County and have been involved from the beginning.
This brings to mind and clarifies yet another event in the long saga of this project. In August '99, just two months after any real detail was revealed about this project and one month prior to the vote on the tax, a meeting was held at the Southern Market. The meeting was “organized” by the Lancaster Chamber and was a forum where the hoteliers would have the opportunity to question representatives of Ernst & Young about the study…the sole basis for the project/tax. Remember, the entire text of that study had yet to be released, that was not done until September
14, 1999. At that time, only the Executive Summary had been made available to the general public.
A number of hoteliers attended that meeting in hopes of delving deeper in to that report. A court reporter was retained by one of the hoteliers and was present to record the session. While lame duck Chamber Chairman Dan Witmer looked on with a blank stare and without saying a single word, an attorney appeared in the room. That attorney informed the group that the meeting would not take place unless the court reporter left. While little was revealed about exactly whom he represented, the attorney was Scott Spencer with Stevens and Lee…surprise, surprise, surprise. I
can only assume that he was on the Lancaster Alliance’s dime at the time.
Editor's Note: Years later when NewsLanc's publisher read the entire marketing report, it was found to be relatively negative. And, of course, it only dealt with the market potential, not with how feasible the project was financially.