‘Ill-conceived’ – comment on Arlo Hemphill (FoFC Marriott Hotel Watch page)

Ill-conceived: the project goals were all about supposed “impacts” on spending, jobs, revenues which is economic gibberish (my first salaried job was teaching undergraduate Ecos 101) because people’s spending is limited by their incomes and wealth. More spending here is less spending there, more jobs here, fewer there, more taxes paid here, fewer there etc. The spending does not come from outer space.

Ill-conceived are the project goals that neglected any focus on financial viability and fitting in the historic district.

Frederick as a conference city is ill-conceived because we are too far from our major clientele (the Washington/Baltimore metro area) to be conveniently located but too close to qualify for overnight stays under Federal Gov rules. Most of the clientele will be within an our of their own beds.

Ill-conceived also because the project is too large, ill-suited for the awkward site, doesn’t fit

Ill-conceived as ‘full service’ because the array of services (restaurants, bars, gym, business center, spa etc) are all available nearby, and add to the cost and complexity of managing the operation

I could add Ill-cs!

Wasteful because it is costing about $70m yet even the optimistic projected cash flows discounted to present value and other hotel valuations are at most $36m according to hotel finance specialist and CPA Matt Seubert.

Wasteful because of the glacial speed with which this project mover (7 years now, vast spending on consultants, architects, engineers, realtors,  lobbyists, PR, politics etc and still no plans submitted for City permitting) and the horrendously complex financing, still far from nailed down.

I could add Wastefuls

Unfair to established hotels – because it is mistaken to see the proposed hotel as operating in a separate lodging market universe. Most people who stay downtown would otherwise stay at one of the existing hotels. That’s fine if it competes fairly, but having government cough up $30m of $70m capital cost puts this hotel at an unfair advantage.

Unfair to existing restaurants and bars etc to compete with subsidized state under-written competitors

Unfair to taxpayers who stand to fund this boondoggle.

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