Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Hotel tax?? For what??

Somebody explain this to me. I don't understand the logic behind increasing our hotel tax to pay some of the bills at the John S. Knight Center. I just don't.

Will upping the bed tax somehow help bring more conventions to town? Does marketing the idea as, "well, it's still less than folks pay at hotels in Cleveland and Columbus" convince folks that it's the right thing to do? Shouldn't the Knight Center be able to pay its own bills by now?

Maybe the three bears can do the campaign spots. "Somebody's sleeping in MY bed." "Well, somebody's been sleeping in MY bed too!" and the baby bear says, "And somebody's been sleeping in MY bed .. and she owes us 14 percent!"

I guess I'd feel better if there were more events at the convention center that seemed worthy of the additional $$ support. Take away the annual tree festival and First Night activities .. now name three conventions held at the JSKC in the last 52 weeks. Can you do that?

Some argue the chicken-or-the-egg debate on this one. That we can't get enough good conventions because we don't have enough hotel rooms, and we can't get enough hotel rooms because we don't have enough good conventions. Is there a solution here?

I guess I'm just not sold on the plan, even though it wouldn't cost me money, just those who come to visit me. Wouldn't upping the bed tax be adding money to a project that's struggling of its own accord? Is it a bailout for bailout sake? How does it fix the problem of the building's underusage?

All I can say is that I hope those in the hotel suites like porridge because this is one fairy tale that needs a realistic ending -- not just a happy one.

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