Despite the glowing accounts and rosy projections from the hard-sell briefings for the downtown hotel project, I see a heavy investment of public money in the project — taxpayer money that should not be used in this manner.

I reviewed the proposal documents on the city’s website and see that taxpayers will be spending $19 million to (1) buy the land from the Randall family, (2) build 104 on-site parking spaces for the hotel, and (3) build a 24,000-square-foot conference center. In addition, the public will build parking deck No. 6 for 650 spaces for $15.5 million. All of this so the Plamondon brothers can build a hotel on the old Frederick News-Post site. The whole project, as proposed, smacks of corporate welfare for the Plamondons and the Randalls.

One has to ask why such a project is even necessary when the Holiday Inn recently announced hotel and conference center expansion plans at their Francis Scott Key Mall site. Why not let the Randall family sell the old News-Post site on the open market and let private money develop the site within current zoning and development requirements? If it’s such a good idea, a free-market economy should decide the worth of the land and the feasibility of any development.

The resulting tax revenue and positive economic impact will still be felt by the community, without spending taxpayer dollars to do so.

Walt Bailey

Jefferson

(10) comments

Dwasserba

The old fnp building has been for sale on the open market. A looooong time. Now it's time for all the kids to get behind the Randalls and Plamondons and pull off that show in the old barn. We're inviting every taxpayer in MD to come join the jolly fun. But I'm telling you, I'll never vote for Richard Griffin again! Wait...what's that you say??

jerseygrl42

Walt, you said a mouthful....we already have too much corporate welfare, this is all about GREED and the taxpayers will be left holding the bag.....this thing reminds me of the sales job some of our public officials tried to give us about how much money we were going to make on a trash incinerator and when the cooked books were finally opened what we found was a $40- $45 MILLION annual deficit that the taxpayers would have to fork over , not unlike what is happening annually in Dickerson with its incinerator.....

lewisantq

I believe this is an excellent project that will yield great benefits for the City of Frederick. Any public-private partnership such as this is open to charges that it is a corporate giveaway. This agreement will provide urgently needed quality lodging and convention facilities in the center of downtown Frederick which will stimulate the already vibrant business climate. The increased business activity will have a major impact on the tax base and will continue to enhance Frederick's reputation as the destination city for our region. Building a larger motel at a mall outside of the city has very little positive benefit for Frederick City. I believe this is a good deal for Frederick City taxpayers. Bob Lewis

bmclearen

So, who is going to stay at the facility? Is it the people vacationing in Frederick, or could it be those coming to see the Keys play, or is it those executives seeking a place to meet? Not to downgrade the city, but you walk a block or two off of the main drag and all you see is, well I guess enough said. Spend the money on schools instead and we would be way ahead.

Dwasserba

But if we put the money into education, who will staff the slew of future low skill/low paying hotel jobs???

Dwasserba

So many times after stomping around downtown I've thought, man, if only there was someplace to go for a quick nap before driving the almost two miles home. My prayers have been answered. It would've been cheaper just to put the city benches back, but, whatever.

gary4books

Anyone that can afford Volt will expect a hotel (and a nice one) that they can walk to.

quemzeee2

Absoulutly. This hotel is long long long over due. We can expect a huge bennifit from this.

kimberlymellon

VOLT? Yet another business that exploits it's local employee's low wages. See MD court search.

gary4books

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