DMN Editorial on Omni Hotel Just a Bit Off-Base

Math is hard.

Today the paper brings us a sunshiney, happy editorial about the city-owned Omni convention center hotel. It says, in part:

Now, more than three years after the Omni opened, the hotel is proving its detractors wrong and showing that the risk we took to build it was a wise investment.

Not only is it exceeding profit forecasts, it is boosting the land around it and helping attract new life to downtown.

Furthermore, the editorial says, without the hotel, “the convention business surely would be weaker.” Really? It would? In November, Wylie H. Dallas took a hard look at the convention center and how it has performed since the hotel was built. Upshot: the hotel doesn’t appear to have improved the convention center’s finances at all. And the hotel itself? Wylie ran the numbers on it, too. The DMN editorial fails to take into account taxpayer subsidies. Once those are factored in, the picture doesn’t look nearly so rosy.

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