May 5, 2015

Gilding The Lily, The Allentown Arena

This past Sunday was a usual weekend for The Morning Call, gilding their lily, The Allentown Arena. One feature story told how the perception of center city Allentown has changed, the other dealt with tourism and the higher hotel occupancy in the valley. The center city story mentioned the new restaurants and shops. Although I spend a lot of time downtown, and have frequented many of the new eateries, I have yet to find one of the new shops. Never mentioned  is the arena schedule promoted two years ago; So far this year, by those projections, the venue is about 65 events short. The companion piece on the hotels had even a greater reality void. Neither center city hotel in Allentown was mentioned. The glaring unasked question, which would link both articles, is how is the new arena's Renaissance Hotel doing? Without that question and answer, neither article had any value.


Anonymous said...

On this issue, the Morning Call continues to avoid any effort of investigative journalism. It prefers to re-post press release materials with no independent analysis. Such is all too common these days.

Our traditional news sources are dying, and with good reason. They have become agenda driven and untrustworthy. Serving less 'in the public interest.'

From my view, the arena and NIZ will NEVER be a net positive revenue generator for state taxpayers. The deficit already created by this program is enormous. Without out-of-state business and employed residents becoming firmly attached here due to all of this, the NIZ will remain a LOSER for the Commonwealth.

I find the NIZ very similar to the misuse of taxpayer dollars we have seen coming out of Washington, D.C.

How much new revenue needs to be generated before the NIZ effort actually BEGINS to turn a profit?
So far, all we've seen is spending. That's the easy part.

Fred Windish

doug_b said...

I usually don't like to cut and paste - but this is direct from the Minnesota Tourism Board from 2014:

Minneapolis All-Star Game impact overstated by 27-72%, says state revenue department:

The numbers from the city tourism board Meet Minneapolis, including that $26.9 million figure, are actually more suspect, because they just add up spending at the game and related events, without accounting for what gamegoers didn’t spend on that week.

Minnesota’s sales tax rate is 6.875%, which would put the state’s actual take from the All-Star Game at a total of around $2-4 million — maybe a million or two more if you add in any extra state income taxes paid by Minnesotans who made a smidge more money this summer. That’s not nothing, but given that the All-Star Game cost the public about $600,000 in rent breaks, traffic costs, and police expenses — not to mention $387 million for the Twins stadium that earned Minneapolis the right to host the game — it’s pretty unimpressive as windfalls go.