Hostel environment

What can we learn from this?

For some reason, it appears that building hotels next to city convention centers is a honey pot for politicians. I am not sure why, but my guess is that they spend hundreds of millions or billions on a convention center based on some visitation promises. When those promises don’t pan out, politicians blame it on the lack of a hotel, and then use public money for a hotel. When that does not pan out, I am not sure what is next. Probably a sports stadium. Then light rail. Then, ? It just keeps going and going.

Two examples are offered, in Phoenix and in Baltimore, where city-owned hotels next to convention centers have dropped tens of millions of dollars. This is, of course, easily explainable:

All the companies who chose not to build a hotel with private money obviously knew what they were doing, and only the political benefits of pandering the the public at large and a few special interests in specific made it seem like an attractive investment to city politicians. Which is all pretty unsurprising, since hotels have pretty much been built off every exit ramp in this country, so there seems to be no private inhibition towards building hotels — just towards building hotels in bad locations.

Which shows you how far behind the curve we are in the Big Breezy: we haven’t even selected our bad location. Yet.


  1. fillyjonk »

    1 May 2015 · 8:14 am

    The other problem with “convention center hotels” is that they are usually mega-expensive to book a room in, and most of us out here in real-world-land don’t have expense accounts to go to meetings on, and often wind up paying most of our own way. (I still feel resentment over a $200+ a night hotel I had to stay in in Chicago for for some meetings.)

    Also, in my parents town (100,000 people if you put the two twinned cities together) TPTB are building two very large very fancy hotels in the little old downtown close to campus. Apparently they think that parents will pay to stay there on move-in weekend and alums will want to pay to stay there when they come back for football games. It looks ridiculous because this used to be a little old funky campus-town, and now it has towers that block out the sun like C. Montgomery Burns’ giant disk.

    A couple of the little businesses I used to frequent when I lived there have gone under by virtue of their rent being increased out of their ability to pay it….so now there are boring upscale “gift” shops and restaurants most profs and students won’t be able to afford to eat in.

  2. McGehee »

    1 May 2015 · 8:20 am

    My wife and I visited Starkville, MS last summer as part of her master’s program. This was before Mississippi State briefly rose to #1 in the college football rankings.

    There were a few new hotels between town and campus, but the bulk of ongoing consruction was on-campus, including a since-completed addition to the stadium. Said stadium was still, AFAIK, the tallest building in the area.

    Something tells me more hotels are on the way, though.

  3. Barks »

    1 May 2015 · 12:35 pm

    Add Houston to the Phoenix and Baltimore fiascoes.

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