Have you followed the stories about the mega-hotel/convention center? Estimates are it will generate $600 million in tax revenue over the next 30 years. Apparently the demand for such space is high. Senator Adams is sponsoring SB 267, New Convention Hotel Development Incentive Act, asking for $30 million from the state coffers.
It begs the question, though – if there is such a high demand, why do the developers need funding from the state, city and county to buy land and get started?
A recent article in the Salt Lake Tribune talked about the “fine art” of convention bidding. It starts like this:
Salt Lake City offers trade shows and conventions some distinct advantages.
These include a state-of-the-art 679,000 convention center in the heart of downtown, an airport that is a hub for a major airline, a nonunion labor force that makes staging a conference less expensive, large numbers of volunteers, great mass transit and a setting that includes nearby natural wonders.
What’s the number one issue, then, that prevents conventions from choosing Utah?
Scott Beck, president and CEO of Visit Salt Lake, says:
“The No. 1 reason we lose business is the perception that we lack dining and nightlife,” he said, adding that “our liquor laws really hurt us. People have experiences that point out the peculiarity of our alcohol service.”
For example, a Utah law that requires someone going into a restaurant to order a meal before purchasing an alcoholic beverage is difficult to explain or understand.
“Reality is a problem, but perception is even worse,” said White.
Instead of pouring $30 million into buying property, maybe we could just inject some sanity into Utah’s liquor laws……
Mental health break – absolutely nothing to do with politics. Enjoy!
Just for fun….
In the spirit of “back-to-school”, check out this video optical illusion. How do our brains DO that?!
Watch this very important video from The Onion.
(It’s not serious, btw – The Onion is satire…..)
Just one-link today – the NORAD Santa tracker!
With just a click of the mouse, Utahns could help Salt Lake City win $1 million to help Utahns at risk of hunger. Walmart and GiftCard Bäks are working together to bring awareness to Walmart’s Fighting Hunger Together campaign which will award funds to non-profits fighting food insecurity in the city that records the most votes on Walmart’s Fighting Hunger Together website.
Walmart, GiftCard Bäks and Utah Food Bank are encouraging all Utahns to vote for Salt Lake City from a list of 100 communities where hunger rates are the highest. The city with the most support will receive $1 million in grants and the next five cities with the highest support will receive $100,000 each. Salt Lake City is currently in 4th place (up from 46th place only a few days ago).
Right now, 1 in 7 Utah children is at risk of hunger. Salt Lake City has a food hardship rate twice the national average with 18.2 percent of families not able to afford regular meals. Utah Food Bank, which serves 150 food pantries statewide, would receive a significant portion of the funding if Salt Lake City earned the most votes.
“We have increased our food distributed by over 30% in the last year in response to the growing need,” said Jim Pugh, CEO of Utah Food Bank. “Unfortunately, this is not a trend that we see reversing and the $1 million would go a long way to helping individuals and families in need. Utah Food Bank touches every county in Utah, so every vote for Salt Lake City is truly a vote for those we serve throughout Utah.”
Utah Food Bank provides food to a statewide network of 150 emergency food pantries and agencies statewide. Last fiscal year, Utah Food Bank distributed 30.8 million pounds of food, the equivalent of over 23 million meals for families and individuals in need. Utah Food Bank also served 221,237 Kids Cafe meals, delivered 26,472 senior food boxes and answered 114,994 calls through its 2-1-1 Information & Referral service. For more information about Utah Food Bank call (801) 978-2452 or visit www.utahfoodbank.org. Find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/UtahFoodBank and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/UtahFoodBank.
This holiday season, a simple click of the mouse can make a real difference. Get out there and do it, then spread the word and ask others to vote for Salt Lake too. Together, we can help make sure no one in Utah goes to bed hungry. The voting deadline is only 10 days away – so get ‘er done now while you are thinking about it. Let’s do it!
Remember to RSVP on Facebook! We’d love to see you there.