Friday, November 25, 2005

Cross Posting Comment - BFD: Forest City News

Comment cross posted on Brewed Fresh Daily:

First, the “Quiet Crisis” comment was tongue in cheek – Sorry if you did not get the joke.

Mr. Morrison, the IX Center is not a convention center; it is an exposition center that caters well for the groups that use it: manufacturing exhibiters, recreation vehicle and boat lovers, late winter/early spring amusement park enthusiasts, etc. The IX center does not cater to the typical convention, or corporate meetings. There are some meeting spaces there, nut not the kind the come to the current downtown center. The IX center does not have the infrastructure to maintain the amount, and size of the conventions, conferences and corporate meetings that currently come downtown. (By infrastructure, I mean hotels, restaurants, retail and convenient transportation options. Of course there is the area around Bagley Road in Middleburgh Heights, but that is neither Cleveland or convenient.)

Regarding operating losses – there is currently only one center in the country that has an operating surplus on a regular basis. That is The Moscone Center in San Francisco. Every relatively new convention center in the country usually runs in the red. They are built/rebuilt knowing this will happen. It is not about making a profit – you might say it is about marketing the city to those who would not normally come for a visit. It also about supporting the economy (service and tourism) the city decided to take on as manufacturing diminished as one of our primary economies. If we do not build or rebuild a new center, we will have abandoned the progress we have made.

You want to provide funds for CSU (I would love it since I am a student there), then go to the state – they are responsible for that; or change the state constitution. You want to provide funds for Tri-C, then support future levies – I do.

I am still skeptical about the FCE series, but I will read it with an open mind. Perhaps businesses like FCE would be more active in the city and region if residents were aware of how they did things – and thus more appreciative (i.e., Progressive, MBNA, Standard Oil, the list goes on). I don’t know.

Disclosure time: I am for rebuilding the convention center.
I see the pros and cons of both sites and will leave it to people who are supposedly smarter then I am to make the decision as to where to build.