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8 hours ago, MJLO said:

The undertone of everything I read about this just feels like the CAA really wants this hotel.   Especially with their good financial position and the fact they can do this exempt from taxes, seems pretty likely it will get built. 

It's interesting that they're basing it so much on how much business is LOST due to lack of space and lack of rooms adjacent to that space. It reminds me of the issue the airport was having, losing business to other airports, and look how that has gone: they made the investments, took risks, and it's paying off in big ways. This community needs more of that. 

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3 hours ago, GRDadof3 said:

It's interesting that they're basing it so much on how much business is LOST due to lack of space and lack of rooms adjacent to that space. It reminds me of the issue the airport was having, losing business to other airports, and look how that has gone: they made the investments, took risks, and it's paying off in big ways. This community needs more of that. 

Agreed. It’s short-sighted to think about how the current convention business will be impacted by new hotel construction vs. what are we NOT getting that could be enhanced by a convention hotel. 

I used to do a LOT of trade shows, and can tell you, not having a room that you can escape to, change quickly for the next event, or simply take a breather, would have been a make or break situation for where I was staying. If they can fill rooms solely based on that, they’ll do well. Some attendees will still filter out to surrounding hotels, but when you are in the thick of it, it’s an absolute necessity (and I can see it being a huge driver of where conventions locate. If they don’t please the exhibitors/speakers, they won’t have a convention next year). 

Grand Rapids has a lot going for it above and beyond convention traffic (from a hotel perspective).. I see this as a win-win, no matter what the naysayers think. Build it. 

Joe

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11 hours ago, joeDowntown said:

Agreed. It’s short-sighted to think about how the current convention business will be impacted by new hotel construction vs. what are we NOT getting that could be enhanced by a convention hotel. 

I used to do a LOT of trade shows, and can tell you, not having a room that you can escape to, change quickly for the next event, or simply take a breather, would have been a make or break situation for where I was staying. If they can fill rooms solely based on that, they’ll do well. Some attendees will still filter out to surrounding hotels, but when you are in the thick of it, it’s an absolute necessity (and I can see it being a huge driver of where conventions locate. If they don’t please the exhibitors/speakers, they won’t have a convention next year). 

Grand Rapids has a lot going for it above and beyond convention traffic (from a hotel perspective).. I see this as a win-win, no matter what the naysayers think. Build it. 

Joe

A question I had when reading the mlive piece, was the study about the impact of publicly funded hotels, they mentioned the "off season."  Is there really an off season for convention traffic?  Sure seems like we have events all year (and looking at the De Vos Place calendar, that appears to be the case)

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I find it interesting that this dude from the Acton Institute (right wing think tank) wrote an opinion piece coming out against the hotel in the Detroit News, and not in a local paper.

https://www.detroitnews.com/story/opinion/2019/04/29/opinion-grand-rapids-doesnt-need-publicly-funded-hotels/3586515002/

Unlike Little Caesars arena that received State funding that affected all Michiganders, the CAA's plan wouldn't. 

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Yeah bonds not the same as tax incentives.  This would have no impact on people in metro Detroit.  It does seem a bit disingenuous to pander this idea to the folks in Detroit and not the local media.  

I could only breeze through the article, was he making platitudes between this and LCA?  If that’s the case then it would seem he he might be attempting to subtly spin the narrative to Detroiters that THEY would be subsidizing a Grand Rapids hotel.  If that’s the case it goes from disingenuous to deliberately misleading. 

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25 minutes ago, MJLO said:

Yeah bonds not the same as tax incentives.  This would have no impact on people in metro Detroit.  It does seem a bit disingenuous to pander this idea to the folks in Detroit and not the local media.  

I could only breeze through the article, was he making platitudes between this and LCA?  If that’s the case then it would seem he he might be attempting to subtly spin the narrative to Detroiters that THEY would be subsidizing a Grand Rapids hotel.  If that’s the case it goes from disingenuous to deliberately misleading. 

He didn't make the correlation, but it seems to be the only reason I can think of to put it in the Detroit News (capture the anti tax break sentiment surrounding the HBO show about Little Caesar's Arena). 

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1 hour ago, GRDadof3 said:

He didn't make the correlation, but it seems to be the only reason I can think of to put it in the Detroit News (capture the anti tax break sentiment surrounding the HBO show about Little Caesar's Arena). 

what HBO show? 

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3 hours ago, GRDadof3 said:

He didn't make the correlation, but it seems to be the only reason I can think of to put it in the Detroit News (capture the anti tax break sentiment surrounding the HBO show about Little Caesar's Arena). 

... and to sow fear that Grand Rapids is trying to steal business from Detroit.

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1 hour ago, wingbert said:

... and to sow fear that Grand Rapids is trying to steal business from Detroit.

Ahh, interesting thought! 

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^^^ All true, but Detroit News regularly publishes columns by Acton Institute contributors.  I'm sure the institute has connections with the staff over at the News, whose editorial page leans in their direction.  To be fair, I'd expect that any think tank would want to reach an audience larger than just GR.  And though the column is about a local issue, it's really just meant to promote the institute and its agenda.

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17 hours ago, wingbert said:

... and to sow fear that Grand Rapids is trying to steal business from Detroit.

Furthering the mindset that if one city succeeds, the other will naturally fail. 

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4 hours ago, BLUESCRUBS said:

Grand Rapids authority hires consultant for amphitheater, convention hotel concepts.

https://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/2019/05/grand-rapids-authority-hires-consultant-for-amphitheater-convention-hotel-concepts.html

 

 

Sounds more like outsourced project management and not a "consultant." Although I feel like munis love to throw that word around to just about anyone they bring on in a 1099. 

At this point, I can't help but feel they're dragging their feet in hopes someone will commit to funding it privately. Quite a bit of local generational wealth has shifted in the past year and that could be tying things up? 

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1 hour ago, kwl said:

Sounds more like outsourced project management and not a "consultant." Although I feel like munis love to throw that word around to just about anyone they bring on in a 1099. 

At this point, I can't help but feel they're dragging their feet in hopes someone will commit to funding it privately. Quite a bit of local generational wealth has shifted in the past year and that could be tying things up? 

There's no private money to fund either of these ventures in any great amount (the amphitheater or the convention center hotel).  Amway's bleeding money like crazy and laying off thousands. Whether that affects the investments of the big families I don't know, but it's hard to hand out 100's of layoff slips and then spend a big chunk of money on a mostly publicly funded hotel. 

I know Chris Knape from his GR Press days (many of us probably do) but he's doing PR now, mainly for Mark Sellers (Hopcat Ventures). He wouldn't be involved if this wasn't a legit push to get these projects done, or at least go as far as they'll go. 

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Ummm.... $4500 a month for consulting?  I must be in the wrong line of work...

GR can definitely support an amphitheater the size of DTE.  The arena consistently sells out for the larger acts.  It's not just metro GR people that are attending, it's people from Kzoo, Muskegon, Holland, N. Michigan, etc..  When Metallica played here, there were a lot of people from Detroit and Chicago up here, because they chose not to play in either.

Same with the hotel.  I think a hotel directly at a convention center would be a first choice for many.

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11 minutes ago, Floyd_Z said:

Ummm.... $4500 a month for consulting?  I must be in the wrong line of work...

It all depends on what kind of job he does and how many hours he works of course but I thought the opposite, that $4.5K a month was kind of cheap for someone with his communications and PR background.  This would extend out to only $54,000 gross annually.  That might sound like a lot to some people but remember he isn't going to be getting any benefits like Blue Cross or dental or a 401K match and as an independent contractor  he will be paying for both ends of his social security; and he's out of a job at the end of the contract and then has to hunt for the next one.

For the record, I don't know Chris Knapp other than from what I've read here and on Mlive or the GR Press.   I grew up around Knapp Street but as far as I know there is no connection.   

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1 hour ago, walker said:

It all depends on what kind of job he does and how many hours he works of course but I thought the opposite, that $4.5K a month was kind of cheap for someone with his communications and PR background.  This would extend out to only $54,000 gross annually.  That might sound like a lot to some people but remember he isn't going to be getting any benefits like Blue Cross or dental or a 401K match and as an independent contractor  he will be paying for both ends of his social security; and he's out of a job at the end of the contract and then has to hunt for the next one.

For the record, I don't know Chris Knapp other than from what I've read here and on Mlive or the GR Press.   I grew up around Knapp Street but as far as I know there is no connection.   

It’s Knape (no connection). He runs a consulting company (actually doesn’t work for Barfly anymore). I would assume this is just one of his gigs. 

Chris always wrote good articles, had a section on Mlive called Knape’s Corner: Graveyard Renderings. Definitely knowledgeable about our city and pro downtown. I think it’ll be interesting to see what he comes up with. 

Joe

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17 minutes ago, joeDowntown said:

It’s Knape (no connection). 

Joe

See, that verifies I don't know him.  I don't even know his name. 

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On 5/30/2019 at 7:43 PM, GRDadof3 said:

There's no private money to fund either of these ventures in any great amount (the amphitheater or the convention center hotel).  Amway's bleeding money like crazy and laying off thousands. Whether that affects the investments of the big families I don't know, but it's hard to hand out 100's of layoff slips and then spend a big chunk of money on a mostly publicly funded hotel. 

I know Chris Knape from his GR Press days (many of us probably do) but he's doing PR now, mainly for Mark Sellers (Hopcat Ventures). He wouldn't be involved if this wasn't a legit push to get these projects done, or at least go as far as they'll go. 

While I agree that Amway is in a period of transformation, judging the new cars parked around RDV means things are probably okay. China's economy is slowing dramatically (along with changes consumption behaviors) and they're being challenged to find their next growth market (which I am assuming will be India, Nigeria, or Philippines). But, the company did post 2018 top-line growth for the first time in like a decade I believe. Even if there wasn't liquid capital to build, many in this town could easily finance it at basically 0% interest. 

How does it work if we indeed publicly fund the hotel? Is that something the community has to vote on?

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37 minutes ago, kwl said:

While I agree that Amway is in a period of transformation, judging the new cars parked around RDV means things are probably okay. China's economy is slowing dramatically (along with changes consumption behaviors) and they're being challenged to find their next growth market (which I am assuming will be India, Nigeria, or Philippines). But, the company did post 2018 top-line growth for the first time in like a decade I believe. Even if there wasn't liquid capital to build, many in this town could easily finance it at basically 0% interest. 

How does it work if we indeed publicly fund the hotel? Is that something the community has to vote on?

Tax exempt bonds is what they're talking about. But they're wanting to pull the city of GR and Kent County into it because they have much more financial clout and tools at their disposal. I don't think any kind of millage or tax increase would ever fly. 

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