Glendale Hotel Enriches Developer

Posted on April 05, 2005 | Author: Damon Chetson
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No one has lately accused the Valley of lacking enough hotel space.

And, yet, both the cities of Phoenix and Glendale are pouring tens of millions of dollars of taxpayer money into publicly-financed hotels and convention centers.

Glendale is planning a new "upscale" hotel, estimated to cost between $40 and $60 million and financed primarily by the city. 

Developer Steve Ellman, a partner in the project, comments in the Arizona Republic that the complex "really sets the stage. It gives me a competitive advantage in the West Valley."

If anyone in Glendale city government has qualms about handing over millions of taxpayer dollars to a wealthy developer, they aren't quoted in the Republic's front page article about the deal.

The Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority, a public agency, admits that the deal is, in part, about driving business to the new private company:

Sports authority president Ted Ferris said Monday, "We can drive business their way, and they can drive business our way."

Should government be in the business of drumming up revenue for private corporations?

Taxpayers expect their money to be used for basic city services: police, fire, and the construction and maintenance of roads. The unholy alliance of developers, economic planners, and city officials who spend public funds to enrich private corporations use public money unwisely, and do damage to the trust citizens place in their local governments.

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