A Lack of Candor on the Hotel Deal

On January 17, 2007, the Telegraph quoted Noble Investment Group spokesman Maurion Zimmerman thusly:

Noble Investment Group has been leaning toward Sheraton ever since the investment group has been involved with the hotel project, spokesman Muarion Zimmerman said. Other possibilities had been Marriott or Hilton.

We just decided Sheraton would be the best move,” Zimmerman said, adding that it seemed to fit the Macon market.

The problem is that, despite this representation, the competing hotel group wanting to build across the street from the Coliseum had an exclusive agreement with Sheraton.

In other words, at the time Noble Investment Group said it was going with Sheraton, it was a contractual impossibility for them to go with Sheraton.

Now, it seems, they have it in writing from Marriott International, Inc. that Marriott will go along with the hotel deal. It’s a shame really. Had they gone with Hilton, perhaps Paris would come to town and woo tourists and sightseers.

By the way, I’ve set up a site called Kill the Hotel to cover candidates in Macon and how they would vote on this hotel scheme.


  1. Bill Simon says:

    Well, I am certainly glad to see that YOU are not in favor of the Deal of The Century for the investment group in Macon.

    Imagine, getting a city to issue a bond to pay for your private enterprise…and, give you a 10-year leave of absence on paying propoerty taxes on the hotel.

  2. mercergirl says:

    when is the next time city council will be discussing it? i know they did today but i didnt find out in time to get off from work…:(

  3. Erick says:

    No Bill. I’m not in favor of any of the deals. I don’t see why the city needs to be putting taxpayer money on the line to build a hotel when, if it will be profitable, a private business would do it itself.

    I’m not opposed to tax abatement plans, but subsidization through bond deals, etc. are bad ideas when the taxpayers could be on the hook.

  4. katurner says:

    I love that blog! Tell us if the Bibb County Commission will once again have to vote on approving the tax abatement? If so let us know who on the commission is thumbs-up on it.


  5. Bill Simon says:

    Thank you, Erick. I thought you had the right amount of commonsense, but I wanted to make sure others were aware of your public position on the whole deal.

  6. Erick says:

    Bill, I think it is stupefyingly hilarious to read the Macon Telegraph lately. Apparently, a lot of people still think I work at my old law firm and have some sort of financial incentive with the competing plan.

    I certainly think it is the preferred option, but as it was structured when it was rejected, I would’ve rejected it too.

  7. There was some twisted humor of sorts at the Public Property Cmte meeting:

    1) Chairwoman Willette Chambliss had to keep gaveling down Councilman Ed Defore for his out of order threats of de-electing anyone who voted to move the Noble Venture to full council. Ed Defore’s face doesnt’ turn red anymore, just kinda shocking pink.

    2) Mayor Ellis stormed in and talked down to Filomena & Council like a bunch of chilluns about tabling the motion to unlock some of the Federal Transportation Funds to move the Transportation Authority Administration to Terminal Station.
    He was standing the whole time, out of order a couple of times and circling in and out of the room, each time getting louder and more body language posture aggressive.

    I couldn’t help but ask myself if Mayor Ellis had taken more time to sit in on City Council Committee Meetings and have some sense of civil discourse over the last 7 years, would Macon be so close to bankruptcy today? Then again, if yesterday was any indication, it probably would have resulted in a few dozen shocking pink, fist fights.

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