Stop Carmel taxpayer funding of a carousel and luxury hotel
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Carmel City Council is voting whether to add to our municipal debt by purchasing an antique carousel and building and operating a luxury hotel in the city center. As concerned Carmel residents we feel these projects are not worthy of taxpayer funding, and they do not reflect responsible spending priorities.
Although a carousel might be nice, it will cost over $5 million to buy and refurbish, purchase land, build an enclosing structure and operate. The city council should seek out a donor or donors (individual and corporate) to finance it.
The mayor has also requested funding to build and operate a 120 bed Autograph collection hotel, arguing that a luxury hotel is needed to attract corporations but providing no details on which corporations refuse to move here or threaten to leave without it. He further contends the city needs to provide $15 million for the hotel because the private sector can’t justify the economics, and dismisses the alternative of an upper market full service hotel (Marriott, Renaissance) as "not unique or prestigious" enough. A luxury hotel would not serve business interests as most businesses and all government contracts have caps on allowable hotel rates, nor would it provide an affordable option for leisure travelers wanting to stay downtown. The city council should also decline this proposal.
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