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Convention Center Expansion

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NEWS
June 9, 2011
Marta H. Mossburg's column about the city's proposed convention center expansion hit the nail on the head as usual ("Convention center expansion: Build it, and they won't come," June 8). In these tough economic times, even with a little outside financial help, we will still be left holding the bag for a project the treasury cannot and should not attempt to fund. Richard L. Lelonek, Baltimore
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NEWS
March 10, 2012
A politically well connected developer proposes a new hotel, arena and convention center. The Maryland Stadium Authority, which is in the business of building new arenas, commissions a study from a consultant that specializes in providing services to convention centers and hotels. The consultant reports (surprise!!) that the new facilities will be a boon to the city's economy. The mayor predicts it will "spark new growth throughout the city," and the Greater Baltimore Committee head says we "can't stand still if we want to still be a significant player in the convention-tourism destination business.
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BUSINESS
By Gary Gately and Gary Gately,SUN STAFF | March 17, 1996
Just six months before completion of the Baltimore Convention Center expansion, giddy anticipation is tempered by mounting doubts about whether the center will reach its potential to fill hotel rooms, generate millions of dollars in new tax revenue and create thousands of jobs.The $150 million expansion, one of the most expensive publicly financed projects ever in Baltimore, is at risk of falling far short of expectations mainly because of a lack of marketing money, say tourism experts, business leaders, lawmakers and industry analysts.
NEWS
October 11, 2011
The Greater Baltimore Committee's idea for an expansion of the downtown convention center coupled with a new, attached arena and expanded Sheraton hotel tower is generating understandable excitement among the group's leaders. It would solve a number of downtown Baltimore's issues at once, come with a major commitment of private financing, and boost the city's lucrative tourism industry. GBC President Donald C. Fry said this week that he expects the feasibility study being conducted by the Maryland Stadium Authority will support the project and that his group will ask the General Assembly to approve $2 million to $3 million in planning money next year.
BUSINESS
By Edward Gunts | July 25, 1991
A private developer's proposal to build a 1,000-room hotel over the expansion planned for Baltimore's Convention Center could make a difficult project even more complex -- and possibly more costly, according to several architectural and engineering experts vying to design the expansion.But Richard Swirnow, the developer who heads the group that proposed the hotel as part of a $600 million medical-oriented conference and trade center, says that he is confident that any construction difficulties can be overcome and that the advantages of a "convention headquarters hotel" will far outweigh any disadvantages.
NEWS
By William F. Zorzi Jr. and William F. Zorzi Jr.,Staff Writer | January 13, 1993
City and state officials reached agreement on paying for the $150 million Baltimore Convention Center expansion late yesterday, with Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke committing to financing $50 million of the cost -- previously a sticking point for the financially ailing city.While Mr. Schmoke had supported the project and agreed to help pay some of the cost, he had not committed to the amount Gov. William Donald Schaefer wanted until yesterday.But two days of meetings with city and state budget officials, financial consultants and staff members of the Maryland Stadium Authority -- which has run the Convention Center since April -- culminated yesterday in the city's commitment, officials said.
NEWS
January 11, 1993
Gov. William Donald Schaefer took a key step last week to win support for an expanded convention center from Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke by placing a city representative on the Maryland Stadium Authority. The mayor, in return, owes it to the city to waste no time in working with the authority on an acceptable financing plan. Any delay could cost the city millions in badly needed tax revenue.Why the mayor remains so unethusiastic about the convention center expansion remains a mystery. City business leaders are united in their strong support for the expansion, which is a necessity if Baltimore is to continue to attract conventions to town.
NEWS
By William F. Zorzi Jr. and William F. Zorzi Jr.,Staff Writer Staff Writer Tom Bowman contributed to this report | April 10, 1993
Baltimore Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke yesterday tempered his threat to withhold the city's $50 million share of the Convention Center expansion because of his objections to Senate language that would give the state a virtually permanent ownership interest."
NEWS
January 7, 1993
Now that Gov. William Donald Schaefer has made a conciliatory gesture, it is time for Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke to reciprocate by lining up solidly behind a proposal to double the size of the Baltimore Convention Center. Otherwise, the city could lose millions of dollars each year in desperately needed tax revenue as conventioneers take their business elsewhere. Expanding the facility has become an economic necessity.In the past three years, 33 groups have opted not to come to Baltimore because there's: 1)
NEWS
By Joan Jacobson and Joan Jacobson,Staff Writer | April 7, 1993
A church-based community group wants downtown businesses to provide more full-time jobs and to promote minorities to management positions as conditions for government development loans.The targets of Baltimoreans United in Leadership Development (BUILD) include downtown retailers in addition to hotels and the convention center, which were developed with federal money."Public subsidies must carry a public obligation," the Rev. Arnold Howard, co-chairman of BUILD, said yesterday at a news conference attended by Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke.
NEWS
June 17, 2011
Here is a modest proposal to Greater Baltimore Committee head Don Fry and other representatives of big business in Baltimore: If you really care about the residents of Baltimore and the long-term future of our city, you will not support throwing millions of taxpayer dollars at big developers to build a new convention center and arena and make the Inner Harbor even more of a playground for tourists. Instead, the business community would make its first priority the immediate rehabilitation or demolition of the tens of thousands of vacant properties in this city.
NEWS
June 9, 2011
Marta H. Mossburg's column about the city's proposed convention center expansion hit the nail on the head as usual ("Convention center expansion: Build it, and they won't come," June 8). In these tough economic times, even with a little outside financial help, we will still be left holding the bag for a project the treasury cannot and should not attempt to fund. Richard L. Lelonek, Baltimore
NEWS
By Marta H. Mossburg | June 7, 2011
Expecting a convention center to lead to job growth is like expecting a diet of double bacon cheeseburgers to lead to weight loss. Pretty much every person who lives in a city with a convention center and every economist knows it — except for people in organizations like the Greater Baltimore Committee (GBC) and Visit Baltimore. They are the ones pushing the nearly $1 billion public-private expansion of the Baltimore Convention Center, arena and Sheraton hotel. Take Baltimore, where 53,000 jobs exited the city over the past decade, along with 30,000 residents.
NEWS
By Edward Gunts and Edward Gunts,SUN STAFF | July 18, 1996
FOR TOURISTS and conventioneers who are in the dark about where to go in downtown Baltimore at night, the Schmoke administration wants to shed some light on the subject.The city has long had a skywalk system of pedestrian bridges that connect the Baltimore Convention Center with spots such as Harborplace and the Hyatt Regency Hotel.Some of the footbridges are practically unusable after dark, however, because they aren't illuminated.By spring, however, the city's Public Works Department will light six of the bridges so they will be easier to navigate at night.
BUSINESS
By Gary Gately and Gary Gately,SUN STAFF | April 6, 1996
Warning that a planned hotel tax increase would devastate Baltimore's convention trade, Gov. Parris N. Glendening and legislative leaders pushed an alternative yesterday that would substantially boost promotion spending without increasing the tariff for hotel guests.The 11th-hour move would hold the overall tax on hotel bills at 12 percent, while increasing the amount to attract conventions and tourists to as much as $5 million, from the current $2.8 million.The move comes a week after Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke announced plans to increase the city's hotel room tax rate from 7 percent to 9.9 percent.
NEWS
By Gary Gately and Gary Gately,SUN STAFF | March 30, 1996
In a move that drew warnings of dire consequences for Baltimore tourism, Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke said yesterday that he plans to increase the city's hotel tax to nearly 10 percent, making the total tax on a city hotel room the highest on the East Coast.The nightly room tariff would rise from 7 percent to 9.9 percent on June 1, to cover the next fiscal year's $4.3 million principal and interest payments on the city's $50 million share of the Baltimore Convention Center expansion.The room tax is in addition to the 5 percent state sales tax, raising the total tax to 14.9 percent.
BUSINESS
By Gary Gately and Gary Gately,SUN STAFF | March 17, 1996
Just six months before completion of the Baltimore Convention Center expansion, giddy anticipation is tempered by mounting doubts about whether the center will reach its potential to fill hotel rooms, generate millions of dollars in new tax revenue and create thousands of jobs.The $150 million expansion, one of the most expensive publicly financed projects ever in Baltimore, is at risk of falling far short of expectations mainly because of a lack of marketing money, say tourism experts, business leaders, lawmakers and industry analysts.
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