Marriott’s Macon Pork

I’ve got an article up at Human Events about a land grab by Marriott International, Inc.

The gist is that Macon is about to build a hotel on a city parking lot for Marriott to operate a hotel. Across from the parking lot, which is on the premises of Macon’s Coliseum and Convention Center, is a vacant lot suitable for a hotel.

The guy who owns the lot has said he’d be willing to sell it. But no, Marriott apparently would rather take over parking spaces from the city than purchase private property.

Of course, the Coliseum has reported that it will lose business, not gain it, if Marriott builds its hotel. The hotel will take up 400 parking spaces during construction and will permanently take up 100 spaces.

Not to worry, says the City of Macon. It’ll just replace those 100 spaces by taking them from the privately owned hospital next door.

By the way, the citizens of Macon went to the polls last month and threw out of office every single person, save one, who voted for this deal. What was City Council’s response? They’ve tried to expedite it so the new City Council, which will have 8 members opposed to it with a new mayor opposed to it, can’t kill it.

If Marriott does not make it’s developer move across the street, it will come into town with 70% of the city’s residents opposed to it and a majority of Macon’s new city council thoroughly pissed off at Marriott. And yes, I’ll be one of those new City Councilmen.

8 comments

  1. Doug Deal says:

    Icarus, “I really is a no brainer.”

    Erick, can someone file suit to delay it from proceding? Find some reason to tie it up in the courts until the new council and mayor take office?

  2. Erick says:

    Doug,

    Someone can be an intervenor in the lawsuit making the case that the taxpayers really are responsible for the debt.

    BTW, I’m taking up your idea, which several people have also suggested, regarding a Macon politics blog. It’ll be up today, hopefully.

  3. GAWire says:

    Couple of questions:

    1. How does the city justify taking parking from a privately owned entity (the hospital)?

    2. How did Marriot acquire the property from the city? (i.e., did they pay fair market value, etc?)

    3. Who owns the colliseum? Worded differently, who is it costing if it loses business (i.e., the city, if it’s gov’t owned; investors/owners, etc?)

  4. Shakin the bush boss says:

    Eric,

    Having held a large meeting and trade show in Macon the last few years, it has been interesting to watch Macon politics at work. Regardless of which side of the fence you fall on this issue, as a new council member please understand that Macon does need some sort of decent motel to help support the activities at the Centreplex. Currently the closest hotel (the old Hilton) is an embarrassment to those in the meeting industry who hold meetings there. We put people up in properties along Arkbright road (Courtyard and Fairfield) but its not convenient for attendees or exhibitors.

    The Centreplex is large and competes with a lot of other facilities in this state that have decent sleeping rooms nearby.

    I’m not sure how long I can continue to ask people and exhibitors to come to Macon if you folks don’t work out your political differences and move beyond name calling and get something done.

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