Media setting you up

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:

hotelBDRP is Giebelhausen’s company that didn’t even exist at the time.  He has since renamed another company to Bloomington Downtown Redevelopment Partners, LLC.  This is what it was:

llcYesterday 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?

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.





16 thoughts on “Media setting you up

  1. And USUALLY numbers don’t lie, unless politicians get ahold of them, and when they are “mathematical politicians” which USUALLY come from political science departments ( and WHAT the heck is a political “scientist” anyway) you’re skewed !!!


  2. I used to think, “idiot” but there’s too much of what seems to be idiocy. Now I think “crook.” Follow the money.


  3. Great idea MUDD! Maybe Diane can have a “Special Edition” here in a few weeks on “Uptown Spending on OUR $” Wonder HOW MUCH Koos and tag along spent in Deutschland while Mitsubishi was going to a liquidator? They were not there selling an auto plant, they were stuffing dumplings in their pockets! This just REEKS of a JUNKET!


  4. The article forgot to mention that there is a brand new (within the past year) extended-stay hotel built adjacent to the Corporate South complex, complete with a workout room, pool and conference/meeting space. The Pantagraph reporters must live in a cave.


  5. Downtown Bloomington has had numerous hotels over the years. I can’t remember the names of all of them, Illinois House, Hamilton. I remember the one near where the Law and Justice Center is at but I don’t remember the name of it. Maybe that one was the Rogers. I am sure there were a few smaller ones too. All of them have closed.

    I can see use in the Normal uptown hotels considering ISU is nearby and student number growth does seem to increase.

    Downtown BL has no steady reason to have any that I can see. We’re not talking someplace like downtown Springfield, IL here. All I see is a future bankruptcy and foreclosure. This city can’t even sell that empty lot on east Washington St. where a motel once used to be. Their “big” mistake was building that Elephant Clownesium where it is at. Who would have guessed that wasn’t a prime location. Dummies!

    The newspaper business here is just hoping they can bail on their property if you ask me. It’s probably an anchor around their neck. If I am correct most of the building is sitting empty and they can’t even find anyone to lease it. Drive around town and you see this pretty common, one being the Regions Bank building on Empire with space for lease. U.S. Bank building on Eastland Drive too. There are many more also.


  6. DOWNTOWN had MANY hotels over the years, and MANY of them turned into low end apartments or “flop-houses” The Hamilton (apartments/flops) Illinois House (apartments-mostly Mitsubishi from Japan) Mar-len (flop-house) , Coachman ( from Elton John staying there to crack house) Rogers, etc. So with THAT kind of track record when DOWNTOWN was MUCH busier, anyone that wants to build a “downtown hotel” NEEDS to switch to crack light! And I would be surprised IF the occupancy rate for the WHOLE town is over 70% which means 30% of rooms are VACANT on ANY given night, and as I’ve said before-IF you’re tired, hungry and ready to hit the hay and on the interstate (pick one) WHERE are you going to stay? AS CLOSE AS YOU CAN! You’re NOT going to drive downtown-concert or not! Giebelhausen just wants to “sucker” Tari (and council) into a foolish deal Which don’t appear to be very hard! Maybe we could name it “Renners Respite” or “Taris No Tell Hotel”


  7. The Coliseum became Judy’s obsession, and look at how it continues to devastate the taxpayer. A Downtown hotel is clearly Tari’s obsession. Even if they ignore the Mayor’s basket load of vile ideological and interpersonal characteristics, can’t Council members just stand up and say: “Mayor Renner, this proposal is unworkable and unsound, common sense individuals WILL NOT support it.”? Is everybody stupid, or “on the take”?


    1. SOME of the Council members are incapable of independent thought. They really believe government has the answer to all problems. They skipped all classes on history, socialism, and economics.


      1. ………..Or took those classes in the Poli Sci Department at IWU! (Or University of Moscow, c.1980–same diff.)


  8. Wel Diane, you’re 1 for 1 “Some of the council members are incapable” and they MISSED or skipped LEADERSHIP class. I CANNOT bring myself to even attend a meeting after meeting Joni, as she was impressive as watching mushrooms grow on a rotted log, which would be more exciting.


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