In The Des Moines Register story, “11 things to know about the proposed convention center hotel,” (see link below), Number 9 was, “Consultants say it will help other downtown hotels.” The consultants reported that the proposed hotel will, “…bring an estimated 3 million additional visitors to the city… during the first 20 years.” 3 million divided by 20 years equals 150,000 per year. Divided by 52 weeks = 1,442 people each week, every week for 20 years, who, the consultant says, will not be coming to Des Moines if we don’t have this new conventions center hotel. I don’t believe it. I also don’t believe the consultant’s report that, “other downtown hotels will book an additional 3,200 room-nights per year as a result of the convention hotel.” Sure, there will be some new conventions that will come to Des Moines only because of the convenient location of the new convention center hotel. But, there will also be other conventions that will come to Des Moines with or without the new hotel, just as they have in the past, and some of those will no longer use the existing downtown hotels.
And all this will cost taxpayers $60 million in subsidies, and the hotel will be not-for-profit, meaning that it will also not be paying any property taxes or income taxes.
Link to Register article: http://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/money/business/development/2015/02/20/des-moines-convention-hotel-facts/23746645/