By: Diane Benjamin
The Pantagraph has a long history of “floating” ideas fed to them from local government. It’s always the first step in making happen what government wants to happen. Watchdogs they aren’t. The last example was “sharing sales tax” – first mentioned in the paper and expanded since.
Sunday more ideas were floated about Bloomington’s downtown hotel. First, here’s a reminder of what the Council approved back in February: (See 2/16/2016 Packet: http://www.cityblm.org/index.aspx?page=242&parent=9534
Yesterday the Pantagraph attempted to soften the occupancy numbers since the hotels already here aren’t booked to capacity – State Farm was even mentioned as not bringing people in for training anymore because of the three hubs created elsewhere.
The Hyatt manager in Uptown claims business is “steady to a little bit of a decline”. Bloomington’s brilliant professor mayor stated that it doesn’t matter how all the other hotels are doing, his in downtown is different. He claims hotels in downtowns USUALLY create their own markets. Emphasis on usually!
The article claims SB Friedman will be doing another feasibility report since the first one was in 2014. That’s pre-Mitsubishi closing and maybe before State Farm quit bringing people in town for training.
Giebelhausen is scheduled to appear before the Council again in May.
So what is the Pantagraph trying to set up this time?
To me it’s a downtown hotel isn’t feasible, conditions have changed, and the professor is counting on “usually”.
Maybe they are mad that their building which has been for sale for years isn’t in the plans.
Or, maybe this is an attempt to convince the public the project was well thought out and Friedman’s new study will support Renner’s theories. They know the citizens outside of downtown see another Coliseum.
I really wish they would ask some questions. How about why the Front and Center building was going to be torn down because it couldn’t be used for hotel, and now suddenly it can? How about the underground infrastructure that can’t support a hotel?
One more: How about who told Tari he can put the taxpayers on the hook for bonds when just down the street Uptown isn’t generating much money from their TIF investment? https://blnnews.com/2016/04/19/the-uptown-fleece/
Remember USUALLY. Even the Coliseum wasn’t sold on dreams, they just created their own facts.
Expect an editorial by anonymous soon to clarify what Renner really wants the narrative to be.