Wichita Falls subsidized hotel project example of the real world intruding on fantasy

Pratt on TexasMayor of Wichita Falls, Stephen Santellan, held a town hall meeting that, according to several media reports, ended up with people focused upon the idea of taxpayers subsidizing a private developer to build a hotel downtown next to the city’s multi-purpose event center.

Two TV news outlets reported that many residents felt such would not be a good idea but the mayor was having none of it saying: “… that the city has conducted case studies with experts that could see if the hotel would be successful long term. The Mayor said he’s 100% confident that the hotel would be a success,” according to News Channel 6.

Civic leaders have been working on this deal for a very long time now and yet once again, the deal has fallen apart. On 29 August, KFDX reported the “financing deal fell through for the full-service convention center and hotel at the MPEC.”

That story reported that “Gatehouse Capital is an investment and development firm that would own the hotel. It would borrow $20 million from a lender, the city would loan Gatehouse Capital $10 million and then Gatehouse Capital would pay all of that money back. Deputy City Manager Jim Dockery says a lender wanted the city to basically co-sign for the loan that would be given to Gatehouse Capital in case the hotel did not succeed.”

We’ve just been through several years of the biggest hotel building boom [another story a year later] in American history with numerous new properties in Wichita Falls but somehow, time and again, those who have providing financing to all the non-subsidized deals cannot seem to make the finances of this deal work even with a whopping $10 million in direct subsidies.

Am I the only one who notices that this is an example of the real world intruding upon the fantasy world of those who look to government for things?

Comments

  1. Dan E Moore, Jr says:

    I imagine that everyone interested had done intensive studies of the deal. If it had been a good investment, there would have been people lined up to get something built. Our own lovely hotel by the Jones is doing pretty well. The only time we hear much about it is when a ring of whores or dope peddlers are arrested there. Someone is making money off of it.

  2. Maybe they want to do something for the whores and dopers

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