But It’ll Bring in a Billion Dollars (or some other fictional number)!!!

This might as well be the crux of Karl Holme’s opinion piece that appeared in the ABQ Journal today. Most of his arguments are the same as those of the other advocates for this project.

Such catch-words as “new revenue streams,” “investment,” and “direct spending” proliferate throughout the piece which is designed both to justify the current convention center and its further expansion. If he thinks this project is such a great idea, I’d love to see Mr. Holme get some private investors to put it in place. I’m not sure why he needs MY money for his pet project. After all, these projects have a long track record of leaving mountains of debt for taxpayers long after they’re obsolete or even demolished.

And, before you say, “oh, but don’t you see that it’ll create jobs,” I’d say two things. 1) In places where large-scale conventions are economically-viable, hotels will step up and build the facilities that the market will bear. Las Vegas, with its plethora of large hotels is one example. 2) Figures like “$36 million in direct spending” imply that local residents realize some defined monetary gain as a result, but the truth is that that the convention business is in a long term decline and this figure is merely pulled out of thin air with nothing to back it up.

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