Expressions of concern over the fate of Frederick’s proposed downtown hotel/conference center come from many directions, both pro and con … but then what is it that they say about that elephant?
After such an overwhelming response to last week’s post Looking Under The Hood Of The Proposed Frederick Downtown Hotel Conference Center Deal, it became very clear to me that the interest in the project is no passing fancy among the citizens of Frederick County. And rightfully so.
From the feedback MacRo received via our website, emails, phone calls and social media, it seems everyone either has strong opinions or were most grateful for the educational, in-depth summary financial analysis (spreadsheet and all) we provided to our readers.
I made a point of sharing the post with not only those in favor of the project, but sent it to all decenters and “on-the-fencers” with whom I was aware.
Most agreed with my favorable support for the project as a strong booster, not only to the downtown economy, but to tourism in general for all of Frederick County, Maryland.
The analysis was crafted using very conservative assumptions, including an average annual growth rate of 2% over a twenty year period. The spreadsheet only looked at the impact of all state, county and local tax revenues generated directly from the downtown hotel/conference center.
Simply stated, it appears to me that a gross of $55 million would offset direct costs and repayment of obligations of $13 million, leaving over $42 million net tax revenues … and that is without an increase in any taxes on the residents of Frederick County or City.
The results of the analysis became the basis for my opinion. Had the outcome been something other than positive, my conclusion may well have been an expression of concern that the city may be taking too much of a risk. But that was not the case.
While I only received two direct acknowledgements from the eight elected members of the Frederick County Delegation, nearly all negative feedback addressed had nothing to do with the finances or even the public money (that will be paid back), but other concerns.