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Posts Tagged ‘Gaylord’

9th March
written by Arizona Kid

From Arizona Republic – Looks like Gaylord is trying to get their resort/convention center project on the ballot for the voters of Mesa to decide. Read the full article – HERE.

Gaylord, if you remember was eliminated as a finalist in the Rio Nuevo project back in 2007 – HERE.  Intersting point from the article included an explaination of a unionization requirement at the new hotel and convetion center;

The union language is just a paragraph slipped into the hotel request for proposals requiring a “labor peace agreement” between the hotel operator and any labor organization that seeks to represent employees there. In turn, the peace agreement requires the union to promise not to go on strike against the hotel.

The union agreement will also be popular with the city’s five-member Democratic majority, which includes several pro-union council members.

Councilwoman Karin Uhlich said the agreement is obviously pro-union, but she said it is also pro-business because the union gives guarantees it won’t strike against the hotel.

Some of the highlights of the Mesa deal;

On Tuesday, Mesa voters will decide whether to buy into the vision, approving tax incentives to help finance the project, whose centerpiece would be a Gaylord hotel and convention center. Along with the second resort and other amenities, the initial private investment is estimated at about $1 billion.

If voters say yes, and the vision pans out, proponents say it will transform Arizona’s third-largest city into an international business and tourism destination….

Voters in 1999 turned down a $1.8 billion plan to build a stadium for the Arizona Cardinals in west Mesa. Several years later they approved a big tax subsidy for a retail development on the same piece of land, now known as Mesa Riverview, but critics say Riverview has failed to live up to its promise.

A downtown water-themed project failed to materialize after the city spent millions to acquire land for it about a decade ago, and a more recent proposal for the Waveyard resort not far from Riverview has been stalled by the economy.

So with a history of grandiose proposals in Mesa, what makes anyone think this is the one that will work?

Critics, meanwhile, question whether tax incentives should be used to fuel a private enterprise, no matter how grand….

Mesa will actually own the Gaylord convention center, and that is what triggered the election.

Voters would need to approve rebates on hotel-bed taxes for the two resorts totaling $51 million over 30 years.

Gaylord, DMB and Mesa marshaled an impressive list of business, political and civic leaders to provide ballot arguments for the election, and not one of them urged a “no” vote….

“I guarantee that the businesses that move next to that hotel won’t be getting a tax break,” Gray said.

His concerns are echoed by Clint Bolick, a lawyer for the libertarian Goldwater Institute.

Bolick is fresh off a December court victory involving Phoenix and its CityNorth mixed-use development. Bolick argued that Phoenix’s $97.4 million subsidy to CityNorth violated the Arizona Constitution, which prohibits giving public money to private enterprise. The state Court of Appeals agreed.

Bolick thinks Mesa’s Gaylord deal is similarly questionable, but he will not challenge it until the state Supreme Court rules on an appeal of the CityNorth ruling.

Smith said the two cases are not comparable because bed taxes are used only to promote tourism, and the rebate arrangement requires the two resorts to continue to use the rebates for that purpose.

Mesa officials have stressed that unlike CityNorth, no general-fund tax revenues will be rebated.



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