I don't think we can make that assumption, as long as we sit here while we remain out of contention on a hotel room count technicality. Every week/month/year that passes without fixing the situation, not only is lost revenue/sales&hotel taxes/etc/etc, but is also increased costs to add the same additional rooms we could have had in the first place (that is to say, an extra $20-$30 million a few years ago, could be $50 million in direct construction costs 'tomorrow').
And every missed payment puts the city deeper in debt and increases the interest payment and hurts the city's credit rating, etc., etc. And I don't think we can make the assumption that we would have a lot more conventions to cover the costs - as stated, they are planned years in advance – besides, there are some perception issues that hinder Omaha for such large conventions.
Big E wrote:
At a certain point people (and cities) need to take the step from "fiscal responsibility" to "calculated risk", or else accept their role of sucking hind teat.
And a point I've made time and time again (also ad nauseum) when discussing the arena/convention center hotel..
WRONG! The city needs to keep risks minimal and be fiscally responsible
(for Cowboy). What the city undertook was risky enough. The city is not in the development business, it helps to facilitate investment and economic activity but not at the risk of sinking the budget. There were reasons Marriott and Hilton were not willing too take the full risk. What's next, budget surplus taken over to the casinos?
If the convention center/arena comes in $X million short, but the economic impact on the city is a positive $5X million, isn't that a success? While a bigger hotel might bring in more conventions/patrons, but not boost the profitability of the arena (essentially a fiscal wash), wouldn't all of those visitors be spending more out of town dollars here? That all HAS to be considered in the determination of success.
That's the point I've been trying to make. There has been growth and economic impact with the route the city has taken - that is why we can now expand the arena and add to the hotel. We would not be in this position if we couldn't fund our bonds and increased interest payments were eating up reallocated funds. This has been a success! The city is booming with investment and we are expanding. I'm sorry that some of you guys did not get your pretty, tall building (ad nauseum). But, if we are reallocating funds and eliminating line items to "cover our |expletive|' on debt payments, we wouldn't be paying for the demolition of the old UP building à and Wallstreet wouldn't be planned; and we wouldn't have been able to buy land on the riverfront and offer it discounted to Gallup and Riverfront Place à Gallup may still be in Lincoln and RFP may not have happened; and we wouldn't have been able to pay for the utility/parking/tunnel for the new UP building à and they may still be in their old building; and we wouldn’t have anything to close the gap on the pedestrian bridge à and $23 million dollars would go elsewhere. The city made a choice. The city is in good shape. Investment is being fostered with the help of the city through various means. I'd call it a success!