Archive for the ‘Convention Center Hotel’ Category

Convention Center Hotel Debt is Cheaper than Projected

August 18, 2009

Today, the agreement was signed to set the average interest rate at 4.69% for bonds to build the Dallas Convention Center Hotel. This is significantly lower than the 5.5% rate cap that was set by the Dallas City Council, and will save the city millions of dollars. There are investment commitments for the entire $480 million in bonds.

According to this article, the lower interest rate translates to a savings of $149 million of the life of the bin

This runs contrary to those that doubted that the Convention Center Hotel bonds would be sold. Construction should begin in about three weeks.

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We Won

May 9, 2009

As if you didn’t know, the hotel vote passed tonight. Rather than gloat, I think I pretty much summed up my feelings in my post earlier in the week.

I am proud of all the people that rolled with the punches and worked so hard to make this possible. When we were outspent 6-1, and the early vote was almost even I knew we would win. In a lot of places, especially southern Dallas, you could see that Vote Yes had the money but no idea how to effectively spend and appropriate dollars in a political campaign.

I was especially proud of Jerry Allen, who won his District 10 council race by a sizable margin even though he was the victim of a hit job by one of Dallas’ weekly papers which was picked up by Vote Yes. For the entire campaign said paper and Vote Yes seemed to be the same organization. I was glad to help Jerry in certain neighborhoods, and that his constituents could see through the smokescreens.

There are two runoffs in June, so it will be another month before we learn who will be on the 2009-2011 City Council.

This is why You should Vote No

May 6, 2009

You know my track record. For years I have been standing up for you and making sure that your voice is being heard at City Hall.

Let me tell you about my journey to Dallas. I looked at cities all around the country, and after going to school in Atlanta I knew I wanted to be somewhere vibrant, progressive and on the move. So I moved here.

Just like you, I did not pick up my entire life to move somewhere dead and stagnant. A lot of you are in the same boat. We could live anywhere, and we chose Dallas and have stayed in Dallas. A lot of folks that are from Dallas have stayed here for the same reason. We are in this fight together!

This is a long post but I have to make sure you fully understand what’s going on here. These are important issues and crucial times.

So let’s get down to business:

This is about two propositions on the ballot that both jeopardize the future of this city. Proposition 1 is about the hotel. Proposition 2 is about limiting the city’s ability to attract and recruit companies.

WHY VOTE NO (instead of Vote Yes):

There has been a lot of confusion as what “Vote No” means and what “Vote Yes” means. It’s set up this way because the people against us are the ones that wrote these propositions. It’s meant to confuse people into voting YES because a lot of us support these projects and this city moving forward.

In this case, vote no means you are for Dallas moving forward.

Let’s look at the hotel first:

If you Vote No, the city will be allowed to help finance the building of hotels within the city of Dallas.

The other side and their $5 million are claiming that hotels are empty, and we shouldn’t do it. You do have to wonder why someone that owns a hotel would spent $5 million if they thought the hotel wouldn’t be a success.

Well, 30 Dallas hotels are supporting Vote No. The hotels that are closest to the location to the Convention Center support it, including the Hyatt Regency and the Adolphus Hotel.

Why? Well if a convention brings 10,000 room nights, and the convention hotel has just 1,000 rooms guess where else they stay? The other hotels!

Here’s a question that I see often: If it’s such a great deal, why doesn’t someone build it privately? The answer is twofold: The city can get a lower interest rate than a private company. The threshold for private industry and their cost of capital is different than the city. Also, the city cares about the overall tax base as well as the economic impact and revenue generated, which is something a private developer doesn’t care about. It’s that simple.

People can say it’s the wrong time to build, but Denver built theirs in 2001 right after 9/11 when it was said that people won’t fly anymore. Denver’s hotel is profitable.

The anti’s also keep comparing Dallas to St. Louis, whose hotel has gone into foreclosure. The difference between Dallas and St. Louis has already been addressed on this blog.

Remember: we lost the Dallas Cowboys, the Texas Motor Speedway, and other things because we bent to people that didn’t want development. What the anti-hotel people aren’t telling you is that in the last 5 years we have lost conventions and tons of money because we don’t have an attached convention center hotel. We have lost conventions that would have brought in $1.5 billion of economic impact.

We cannot attract large conventions if we don’t have an attached convention hotel, and it’s for weather days just like we’ve had the last few weeks. Nobody wants to walk three blocks to a convention in the rain or in 90-degree heat with all of their books and packages. That’s why we’re losing. If you look at the list, the reason next to almost every “decline” of Dallas being chosen is lack of attached Convention Center Hotel.

If we can’t bring in tourists to generate revenue, then we have to make up the difference through higher taxes. Wouldn’t you rather have tourists help pay for what we need?

We are already in the hotel business at DFW airport with the Hyatt – and it’s successful. The DFW Hyatt was financed the same way as our proposed hotel, but not one peep from any anti-hotel people. Why is that? We’ve been waiting for the response for months.

If convention center hotels aren’t needed how can places like the Gaylord Hotel & Convention Center, in the middle of nothing but an outlet mall and a Bass Pro Shop, charge higher rates than those proposed for the Dallas Convention Center hotel? I know. A couple of months ago, we paid more than $200 a night to stay at the Gaylord for a retreat. The food was expensive. The parking was expensive. We still paid it, and I’m sure the City of Grapevine appreciated the revenue.

I found it strange that the anti’s have always said that the Mayor made it personal, when it was the Vote Yes side that immediately called the Mayor arrogant and has continued the name-calling throughout the campaign. However, notice that when it came time to debate in Southern Dallas last Sunday (the day before early voting), the event was ignored and they had to find someone to stand in at the last minute. The Mayor and the hotel supporters at City Council have been accessible to address questions and concerns.

I have to talk about the attacks on our Mayor and City Council. What kills me the most is that I see our Mayor and Deputy Mayor everywhere in the city trying to affect change! The Mayor said in his campaign and his inauguration speech that the hotel was a priority.

Consider some of the sources of most of the anti-hotel sentiment.

When you have so-called papers like the Observer chasing down the Dallas residents who are in the pro-hotel ads for quotes, I wonder if they did the same to the actors in the Vote Yes ads. We know the answer. Their whole existence for publishing seems to be to create an anti-campaign against Mayor Leppert, Deputy Mayor Pro Tem Dwaine Caraway, and anyone else that supports southern Dallas. The campaign has been an epic FAIL so far. After the elected officials, the Observer went after the Black churches. It never stops.

One Dallas Observer political writer lives in Frisco, and the other thinks southern Dallas is a third-world slum. Why is this important? Because if the area that you live in has development and all of the things that other neighborhoods don’t have, why wouldn’t you want other areas to have a chance to thrive?

Such a campaign will continue to be an Epic FAIL as Caraway has no legit election competition and most people in southern Dallas continue to see the Mayor work and be seen in southern Dallas. The newspaper that gave us Laura Miller as Mayor is in no place to dictate who should be the Mayor, Deputy Mayor or any other elected position.

AND WHAT ABOUT THE POTENTIAL $$$

$500 million of economic impact is already on the hook if the hotel gets built – these are conventions that are definite if the hotel gets built! In addition, there is another $1.9 Billion in economic impact under consideration from other conventions based on the hotel being built. WE CAN’T AFFORD TO TURN OUR BACK ON THAT OPPORTUNITY!

The city is losing more business than the hotel would cost. Again, we have lost $1.5 Billion in economic impact because of the lack of an attached convention center hotel. $2.4 billion dollars of economic impact and $800 million in direct spending is waiting for us if we VOTE NO!

They also aren’t talking about the things that will go around the hotel, such as more restaurants and shops in this part of downtown. A minor-league baseball park on Industrial that wants to be there BECAUSE of the foot traffic and spending that will come with hotel visitors.

Also remember the jobs: 3,000 jobs during construction of the hotel. 800 permanent jobs, and the thousands of jobs at surrounding places as this part of downtown gets developed! The haters hold their nose at hotel jobs, but these jobs feed families.

If Prop 1 passes, then the city could be bound from doing any type of financing deal for a hotel which includes incentives. Prop 1 is so badly worded that this may be the case.

Is there a risk? Yes. There’s risk in anything, and there’s also reward. We have paid the price time and again for sitting on our hands.

Let’s look at Proposition Two:

Proposition 2 will require Dallas to conduct a citywide vote each time it wants to offer $1 million or more in subsidies to private developers of hotels, condominiums and retail facilities-when just 500 Dallas voters petition for such a vote.

No company or developer is going to wait until next May or November while we have an election. If we cannot help to finance economic development and recruiting of companies, this city will dry up.

Proposition 2 will prevent the city from being able to recruit companies and generate jobs and business in the same way as other cities.

This is a fight against business as usual.

In both cases, we have to decide if one small group is going to decide our future and the future of this city. I don’t want that, and if you’re willing to stand with me and with us, we can succeed.

We finally have a Mayor and City Council (well…most of them, anyway) that understands that to build a great city you must build south of I-30 as well as downtown.

We won’t be able to effectively bring back South Dallas, Oak Cliff, Pleasant Grove, and West Dallas if we don’t VOTE NO. How are we going to pay for it if we don’t VOTE NO?

Now that early voting is over, the election is May 9th.

I want you to vote and to get your friends to vote just like you did last November because it’s just that important. VOTE NO FOR YOUR FUTURE – VOTE NO and SAVE DALLAS.

Find your Election Day polling place
(link)

Demonstration of Touch Screen Voting Machine (Flash player required) (link)

Services Available to Voters with Special Needs in Texas (link)

Early Voting – Last Two Days

May 4, 2009

My vote is in….is yours?

Remember, you can vote at any voting location no matter where you live in the city. Don’t forget to Vote No on Prop 1 and 2, and to vote for your city councilperson.

Of course I voted no; anti-hotel ads using the Texas Tea Party with people “holding” Vote Yes signs didn’t sway me . You know that those logo’s were done via CGI and not from any real rally, right?

You know that the last claimed “independent study” and “guest column” was paid for by the anti-hotel group, right? Was that part of the $5 million they spent on this campaign or was that separate?

You know that Dallas is already in the hotel business with the Hyatt at DFW, right? Did you know that the Grand Hyatt DFW is turning a profit? (see question #11)

Just curious.

Early Voting: until Tuesday May 5, 2009
http://www.dalcoelections.org/may92009/EARLYVOTINGLocations.html

Election Day: Saturday May 9th.

Check your voter registration by name or address
http://www.dalcoelections.org/voters.asp

Demonstration of Touch Screen Voting Machine (Flash player required)
http://www.essvote.com/flash/demo.html

Services Available to Voters with Special Needs in Texas
http://www.sos.state.tx.us/elections/pamphlets/services.shtml

State of Texas Early Voting Rules
http://www.sos.state.tx.us/elections/pamphlets/earlyvote.shtml

Google Map of All Dallas Early Voting Locations
http://tinyurl.com/alldallasearlyvotingspots

New TV Ad – Enough is Enough

April 29, 2009

Check it out – let me know what you think.

Join Me and Save Dallas! Mega Event – Is Dallas Ready?

April 27, 2009

If you haven’t already heard, we are having a mega event to urge people to Vote NO and Save Dallas.

We expect 500+ people. BRING YOUR VOTER CARD OR LICENSE WITH YOU!

Vote No and Save Dallas!

When: Wednesday 4/29 – music starts at 4PM
City Hall Plaza
Akard and Young Street, at the fountain
Rally Location (Google Maps) http://tinyurl.com/saveourcitydallas

Add to your outlook calendar (link)

Many of you moved to Dallas and live here because of the opportunities available to you. You moved here because Dallas is a growing city.

Dallas has been losing everything of value to the suburbs.
*We lost the Cowboys to Arlington.
*Nokia Theatre is in Grand Prairie.
*The Texas Motor Speedway is in Fort Worth instead of on I-20 in Oak Cliff.
*Don’t you want to do things in Dallas?

More than $2.5 billion dollars of economic impact and $800 million in direct spending is waiting for us if we VOTE NO! One group is trying to prevent that from getting to Dallas.

If Dallas becomes less business-friendly, we lose. The economic future and opportunities of our generation depends on whether or not we VOTE NO!

We didn’t like the last Mayor because she shot down every project and now we have a Mayor with great ideas for a great city. We need to have his back!

** HOW IT AFFECTS YOU **
Dallas will be become a ghost town.
We won’t be able to bring back and build up South Dallas, Oak Cliff, Pleasant Grove, and West Dallas unless we VOTE NO!

No more places in Dallas like West Village, Mockingbird Station, and Uptown.

If Dallas can’t bring big events to downtown, finance economic development, and recruit companies, this city will dry up! The more we lose, the more jobs leave Dallas, and the less opportunity you have to succeed. That’s not why you came to Dallas!

** HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO DO **
The haters have more money but we have more people!

If you want Dallas to continue to grow, you need to come to our rally on Wednesday April 29th in front of City Hall.

Music starts at 4PM and the speakers start at 5:30–guest speakers include Veronica Torres – Chair for the Greater Dallas Hispanic Chamber Young Professionals group, Michael Davis of Dallas Progress blog, Ron King of PartyChaser.com/Trinary Media, and others.

Are you going to let one group stand in the way of YOUR future?

Come hang out with your friends and learn why we must fight for our city.

** IMPORTANT LINKS **
Early Voting: April 27, 2009 – May 5, 2009
http://www.dalcoelections.org/may92009/EARLYVOTINGLocations.html

Election Day: Saturday May 9th.

Check your voter registration by name or address
http://www.dalcoelections.org/voters.asp

Demonstration of Touch Screen Voting Machine (Flash player required)
http://www.essvote.com/flash/demo.html

Services Available to Voters with Special Needs in Texas
http://www.sos.state.tx.us/elections/pamphlets/services.shtml

State of Texas Early Voting Rules
http://www.sos.state.tx.us/elections/pamphlets/earlyvote.shtml

Google Map of All Dallas Early Voting Locations
http://tinyurl.com/alldallasearlyvotingspots

Early Voting Starts Today

April 27, 2009

Here’s all you need to find a place to vote. Election Day is Saturday May 9th, but early voting is in full effect. Don’t forget to Vote No on Prop 1 and 2, and to vote for your city councilperson.

Early Voting: April 27, 2009 – May 5, 2009
http://www.dalcoelections.org/may92009/EARLYVOTINGLocations.html

Election Day: Saturday May 9th.

Check your voter registration by name or address
http://www.dalcoelections.org/voters.asp

Demonstration of Touch Screen Voting Machine (Flash player required)
http://www.essvote.com/flash/demo.html

Services Available to Voters with Special Needs in Texas
http://www.sos.state.tx.us/elections/pamphlets/services.shtml

State of Texas Early Voting Rules
http://www.sos.state.tx.us/elections/pamphlets/earlyvote.shtml

Google Map of All Dallas Early Voting Locations
http://tinyurl.com/alldallasearlyvotingspots

EXCLUSIVE: Hotel Showdown Debate

April 23, 2009

You heard it here first:

On Sunday April 26th, there will be a Convention Center Hotel debate at Friendship-West Baptist Church. It will feature members of the Dallas City Council and the Mayor on one side and hopefully the other side will show up.

Be there – this is last major debate in southern Dallas that is solely focused on the issue of the Convention Center Hotel.

Friendship-West Baptist Church
2020 W. Wheatland Rd.
Dallas, Texas 75232 (map)

Sunday, April 26th
2PM – 4PM

UPDATE: Gromer Jeffers of the Dallas Morning News will be the moderator.

This is Our City-Vote NO!

April 23, 2009


From RIP Dallas. This is our city!

Young Motivated Professionals vs. Internet E-thugs

April 22, 2009

Some of the stupid comments and blog posts that are out there imply that if you work for are related to someone well-known you can’t be a part of a grassroots or organized movement. I guess I should just be happy with my board seat and going to the club and never speak out, and the people that started RIP Dallas should do the same.

If people in our positions sit idly by and never vote and never say anything, we’re branded as do-nothings and typical generation (x/y/millennials/fill in the blank). When we do get together for good, the haters want to do a bunch of ridiculous attacks on the character of individuals that are part of this movement.

Some people feel that the “Grim” character was over the top. Well, that’s their problem.

Let’s get to the real deal; there are a whole host of internet-based e-thugs who have never volunteered a minute of their lives.
Newsflash: If you’re on a board at City Hall, you’re a volunteer. A lot of the people involved volunteer and donate time and resources to many organizations. Who do you think spends their time trying to make this a better city? If any of the e-thugs have the guts to go down to City Hall, sign up for time, and let their opinions be known. All it takes is a quick call to the City Secretary’s Office. One catch: you have to use your real name. That’s the same thing done by the people who spoke on behalf of RIP Dallas.

Does Crow Holdings have young people willing to take a stand? Still looking and waiting. RIP Dallas was 200+ deep at City Hall this morning. City Hall was at capacity, and dozens of us were in the Flag Room.

This is not some phony group; we come from all corners of the city. We volunteer, and we eat drink and spend money in the city of Dallas. We are hundreds deep and with our friends thousands deep.
Whether you all like the signs or not, these are young professionals that organized themselves to participate in the process. We vote, and our friends vote. Hate that.