Start with a city-wide accommodations plan: then consider TIF requests comprehensively
Closed motel where the marquee pushed the "locally owned" trope.
The Washington Post reports, in "D.C. developers seek subsidies to build 2 more Marriott hotels," that property developers building the conference hotel adjacent to DC's Convention Center are asking for $35 million in tax incentives to build two smaller lower price point hotel properties adjacent to the conference hotel.
This is from the Brunswick plan:
The provision of accommodations within a community has nuances that are not always considered. The type and quality of the hotel brands that are present says things about the market and how the community is perceived. This was shown jokingly in the movie Total Recall when a Best Western brand was displayed on a hotel located in a low income neighborhood, while Hilton Hotels was the brand pictured in the more up-scale precincts of the Planet Mars.
In Glynn County, some of the most exclusive hotels and other accommodations are located on the islands--Sea Island Resort is world-renowned. For the most part accommodations located within the City of Brunswick are low end brands of national chains. (And motels located within Glynn County on I-95 are referred to as being in the City of Brunswick.) A now closed and dilapidated Days Inn is one of the most prominent buildings as a driver enters Gloucester Street from Highway 17 to travel downtown, creating a terrible impression, one that belies the beauty of buildings, parks, and streets located but a few blocks away.
Glynn County has a great demand for hotel-motel accommodations, not only because of tourism, but to provide rooms for students attending courses and training at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center. While large room blocks are reserved throughout the year to serve this market, for the most part these are at significantly discounted rates--price, not quality of the experience, being the most important factor. There is no question that hotels developed as part of Liberty Harbor will be a welcome addition to the city's array of hotels, and will fill in a gap for higher end offerings. ...
Recommendation: That the City and DDA consider broadening the scope of the Downtown Hotel Market Study being conducted currently, and develop a broader accommodations development plan, as part of the Economic Development Element in the Comprehensive Plan, through the inclusion within a Destination Development Plan of an element on accommodations.
The price point issue is important for DC because the properties here tend to be more expensive, so a lot of people visit "DC," and spend most of their tourist visit in DC (with the exception of visiting Mount Vernon, Arlington Cemetery, and Alexandria) but their overnight stays in hotels/motels are outside the city (where they visit the U.S. Capitol, White House, National Mall, Smithsonian Museums, National Gallery, and Georgetown) so those communities get the bulk of the occupancy taxes generated by visitors.
(Note that a huge chunk of DC's hotel visitorship is generated by business related to the U.S. government including trade associations and lobbying. Actually some of the strongest months in DC tourism are February/March--spring lobbying, and October--the real start of the year's Congressional session after summer recess.)
But there is another element that needs to be considered in terms of responding to requests by developers for hotel-property-related government incentives and inducements.
Most hotel properties are not locally owned. And most of the money spent on hotel rooms is spent on debt service.
I haven't seen an economic multiplier study of hotel (accommodations) properties based on local vs. non-local ownership, and such a study is required to determine whether or not the return on investment from government subsidies pays off.
Now, we have to recognize that hotel stays support other business within the city such as at retail, restaurants, and other attractions. But more differentiated economic impact studies are in order to get better numbers and a sense of the success or failure of government incentives to generate deeper and broader economic development.
The Oak Park Motel in better days. Postcard image.