Recently the StarTribune published a glorified press release for the City of Burnsville which speaks of the importance of the city bringing another full-service hotel to town, this time in the Heart of the City. While the article provides a lot of PR for the currently non-existent project, here’s to hoping we can break this down and show exactly why all of this is hubbub about nothing.
From the article:
“A hotel has absolutely been in the picture from the start,” said Skip Nienhaus, Burnsville’s economic development coordinator.
So was a successful performing arts center, white table cloth restaurants, bustling businesses, packed condos, beautiful gardens, vibrant shops, and more. None of those things came and thus the picture needs to be repainted–eliminating the need for a hotel. If you take a look at Apple Valley’s less-than-vibrant ghostdowntown, the hotel there has done absolutely nothing to attract anything to the area even though there are only two hotels in town. This hotel isn’t going to bring anything more when not only are there nine hotels in Burnsville, one of those is a full-service hotel located just down the street.
Since then, development proposals that included a hotel have come and gone.
City officials have declined to identify the hotel investors until a purchase contract for the land has been finalized.
Nienhaus said the investors haven’t specified a brand yet, but have said it would be a full-service hotel.
In other words, nothing has happened yet and details are non-existent. This was clearly the time to put out an article on the topic to tell everyone that they are in the very preliminary stages of something and that their hard-earned tax dollars are not being wasted on nothing!
City officials have said they also believe that the Burnsville Performing Arts Center, which the city built as part of the Heart of the City project, may be boosting the hotel market. The arts center was never expected to make money, but last year it lost the least money of any year since opening in 2009. This year it’s also expected to record lower-than-budgeted operating costs, according to city spokesman Marty Doll.
“May be” (it’s not).
“Was never expected to make money” (liar, liar, pants on fire).
“It lost the least money of any year since opening in 2009″ (it still lost more than they were claiming it ever would and we’re talking $800,000 when you include building costs).
“Lower-than-budgeted operating costs” (in other words, as we’ve done for several years in a row, we over-inflate the budget so we can make it and put out an article that claims exactly this).
The rest of the article goes on to talk about a hotel building boom and includes Bloomington directly on site at the Mall of America, one of the areas the article claims is exactly why Burnsville needs another hotel. The irony is astounding. However, it goes on to mention Rosemount’s Hotel Hell located by railroad tracks and in the middle of nowhere. Nothing says to Burnsville’s residents, “we need a hotel,” like Rosemount’s building of a rural hotel chain next to a gas station and railroad crossing.
What do you think about this article? Is this simply a fluff piece to show how Skippy is doing something useful or do you think this is all another big load of nonsense that will never materialize and will see a 6 sentence article after the fact? Do you think Burnsville needs another hotel? Do you think this rising building boom in other cities means Burnsville needs one too when occupancy is still less than 50%? Whatever you have to say go ahead and comment on as I’d love to hear your thoughts.