Monday, January 5, 2009

Found money, Isn't it?

Peter Callaghan hits the nail on the head.

"Whenever a convention center isn't meeting its promises, the managers say they'd do better if they had more space or if they had more hotel rooms close by or if they had a 'headquarters' hotel...

"Unfortunately, the only numbers come from consultants hired by the cities. These consultants always say it makes sense to build or expand. Even when it doesn't...

"But it's found money, isn't it? Well, sort of. Convention centers are paid for with public money, tax money. The taxes are collected from any person or any business that books a room in the jurisdiction of
the convention center. Are they all tourists and conventioneers? No. Are they all from out of state? No.

"And when you travel to other cities, they're charging you to build their convention centers that compete with our convention centers."