Dallas Convention Center Hotel Referendum to join three failed efforts

Strong Mayor – Failed

Not so strong Mayor – Failed

Trinity Toll Road – Failed

Three referendums put forth to the Dallas voters and three big NO’s.  Now they’re getting the crew back together for another comeback tour.

I don’t doubt that opponents of the Convention Center Hotel will get their 20,000 signatures, but I hope that they are looking realistically at whether or not this has a chance of passing.  Since Laura Miller caused the Great Southern Dallas Awakening, conventional wisdom has changed with these sort of things.  You remember The Awakening right? When it was assumed that people in Southern Dallas would fall for anything, even giving Laura Miller more power.

Since then, there has been a shift in the political landscape and voting patterns in Dallas.  Getting 20,000 signatures is easy.  You could probably get 20,000 people to agree to changing the name of Dallas to Pluto.  But to think that a majority of citizens will vote against their councilpersons on this particular issues is…arrogant.  The fact of the matter is that this is a popular mayor and even a (gulp ) popular council.

Opponents of the CCH talk about Dallas occupancy rates, and yes they are low.  But part of the reason is too many hotels that are poorly located.  The hotels that are on the Stemmons Corridor chose to locate there.   I’ve read Trammell Crow: Master Builder, I know why most of them did.

But this is a new day, and people want to be downtown.  If many of these poorly run, ill-conceived, poorly located hotels were to close, then you’d be looking at higher rates.

It’s kind of like the airline industry that we continue to support even though they have a poor business model.  In Dallas I guess we are now supposed to compensate for hotels who are located away from…(wait for it)…people.

So round up your 20,000 signatures Mrs. and Mr. Convention Center Hotel opponent. With Jack Matthews on the project, a man who took an even bigger gamble with the Southside on Lamar, I’ll take my chances.

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