Wednesday, July 11, 2007

A minor point

I was reading through the C.H. Johnson Consulting Inc. "Economic and fiscal impact analysis."

This study was done to justify subsidizing another downtown hotel.

The 2004 study assumes a 360 room hotel. We are building a 250 room hotel so the study is not particularly useful. Realize that back in 2004 the grand plan was to build a 360 room hotel...

There is one assumption that leaps out at me. On Section 11 Page 7 they make an estimate that is amazing to me. They assume that none of the guests staying at the hotel live in Fort Wayne. They further assume that only 5% of the guests live in Allen County. They assume that 50% of the guests come from outside Indiana!

These are pretty amazing assumptions. With these assumptions their study makes it look like a lot of the people who stay at hotels in downtown Fort Wayne come from far away and therefore spend a lot of money.

I am not sure what the exact numbers are; however, I would bet everything I have that at least some Fort Wayne residents would stay in a Downtown hotel.

Many of the Conventions held at the GWC are small Conventions that cater to Indiana groups, especially northern Indiana groups.

The GWC also holds a very large number of corporate parties each year, especially at Christmas.

I will use my own experience as an example:

In Dec of last year my wife and I went to a Christmas Party held by one of Karena's clients at the GWC. It was a nice event. We spent one night at The Hilton.

Earlier this year the LPIN held its annual Convention at the GWC in Fort Wayne. My wife and I spent two nights at the Hilton during the Convention.

Note, my wife and I both live in Fort Wayne.

I do not think that a large number of Fort Wayne residents would stay in "Convention Hotels;" however, there is no doubt in my mind that at least some Fort Wayne residents will stay at those hotels for various reasons. My wife and I have spent 3 nights at The Hilton in the last eight months due to events a the GWC.

Both events were small events with less then one hundred people.

I wish that these studies were reviewed for "reasonableness" by our local officials who pay for them. Furthermore, I wish that more of this work was done by local firms.

This is a minor point; however, several minor mistakes can lead to fairly major mistakes...

Mike Sylvester

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