Your editorial published Feb. 4 proclaimed the city’s endless downtown hotel project to be “in a symbiotic relationship” with the historic district. Gawd!

Consider:

  1. It’s a lousy site for such large project, and its lack of street frontage has prevented the architects from designing workable access for such basics as parking, deliveries and trash collection.
  2. The hotel as specified “full service” by the city’s Hotel Advisory Committee makes no sense downtown with an established cluster of restaurants, bars, etc. especially if an aim of the project is to support these with extra business.
  3. Total project costs at $80 million or more are insane given that the city’s financial consultant MuniCap has estimated that the value of the hotel complex will be in the range $25 million to $33 million.
  4. The selection of the site and the developer was blatantly corrupt, the winning proposal being in weeks before the fake RFP was issued and the scoring biased.
  5. Project management is a farce with a grand opening predicted for 2014 back in 2010, being touted as three or four years away for eight years now and still no viable plans in sight, let alone construction.
  6. The site is of historic and archeological importance so further damage to our history is inevitable here as well as difficult compromises, delays and expenditures.
  7. The project scope and costs have changed drastically since the city-Plamondon MoU was signed at the end of 2015 so the project deal with the developer is now shrouded in mystery and confusion.
  8. City sponsorship of a downtown hotel is not only unnecessary (the Visitation proposal) but wasteful and destructive, deterring a variety of simpler, economical and organically developed lodgings more likely to succeed than the politicians’ behemoth “upscale” Marriott. What we need downtown is a variety of modest-sized distinctive and interesting lodging places catering to a variety of visitor tastes and price points that can be built without all this political drama and financial complexity by each project standing on its own feet financially.

Gov. Larry Hogan and the Frederick County delegation to Annapolis are correct to cite the disastrous record of government-sponsored hotels. It’s time to call a halt to all government funding for this ill-conceived, ill-managed and ridiculous project. The downtown hotel boondoggle deserves no state, no county and no city money. And please spare us from your “symbiotic relationships.”

Peter Samuel

Frederick

(11) comments

DickD

Peter, let me apologize to you for not thanking you in my previous comment for such a well laid out and thoughtful LTE. I am sure it took a lot of time and effort, we do owe you for that.

This hotel reminds me of the Trump scam on infrastructure, it is all about making the rich, richer.

richardlyons

[thumbup] No public monies should be used.

DickD

If this was such a great deal why couldn't Young get it passed by the Democrats that control the State legislature? Instead, he had to go to the Republican Governor out of sight of everyone and beyond the State legislature control to get it done. Goodby, Ron!

jerseygrl42

Peter, you said it well as always and this so-called symbiotic relationship only extends to other peoples MONEY which these folks seem to love to waste on ridiculous projects that line the pockets of the favored few, in this case Plamondon and Randall....but it is only shameful for those who have shame...we have more than $500 Million in infra-structure deficit according to Jan Gardner, thanks to one-sided deals with certain developers, Kline comes to mind with his taxpayer funded $97 Million interchange for the NON-Tech park which he now wants to turn into a warehouse operation....

elymus43

Great LTE.

Dwasserba

Opposition appears to be fading mostly because life's too short to feel so weary and the cheerleading is relentless. What conventioneer will venture out of a hotel in an unfamiliar city if the hotel has multiple restaurants and amenities close to hand? Non-boondoggles need not apply?

joelp77440

Actually, as a person who attends and presents at 4-10 conferences a year, the answer is everyone. This is what conference planners want. Nightlife, restaurants and entertainment is walking distance of the hotel. You can't beat Frederick. When I am send to a conference center next to a mall like I was in Deerborne MI, last year, I remember the importance of having the hotel downtown.

gary4books

I expect a new hotel to be a way to help local business in Frederick. It may not make a lot of money, especially not in its first years, and some public support is useful. If the project did not need some funding, we would have a hotel now. But with this fund available for all in Maryland who qualify and that fit in the fund's budget, Frederick should get an opportunity to participate. If not Frederick, then who? If not now, then when?

shiftless88

While I agree with much of this, I don't think the site is particularly historical or archeologically sensitive.

gary4books

Tanneries were never sights to see. Or smell. Most towns in the past got rid of them as soon as they could push them out.

Dwasserba

...making this one a non-smelling rarity among city points of interest

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