Dallas to Build City-Owned Convention Center Hotel

Tonight, Prop 1 failed 49% to 51%.

I would like to thank Harlan Crow for his effort to allow the citizens of Dallas to have a say in the city’s proposal to build a convention center hotel. I would also like to thank Anne Raymond for tirelessly debating the issue and educating voters. I have been in her position before, and it is a grueling, challenging task.

I have consistently voted against the city-owned hotel because I disagree with its funding mechanism which places the risk solely on the shoulders of taxpayers, with no developer or operator funds at risk.

But today, the voters of Dallas have spoken and settled the matter. After assessing the risks, a majority of voters decided that the potential benefits of a city-owned hotel outweigh the risk to taxpayers. The City of Dallas will now finance, construct, and own a convention center hotel.

As we move forward with the construction of this hotel, we must make sure that its financial success is our number one goal, and that taxpayers are not required to make up any cost overruns or revenue shortfalls. We must also be diligent to ensure that the ancillary economic development promised along with the hotel materializes and enhances our tax base. And finally, we must make sure that the hotel has sufficient connectivity to the rest of downtown so that all areas of our city center may benefit from its construction.

In the days ahead, I pledge my support to the Mayor and our Council in the pursuit of these important goals.