An expert consultant with an expensive briefcase, who lives in another part of the country, has convinced some people to spend big bucks to consider the development of riverfront property in Richland. Want to make a big bet on tourism?
Did this “expert consultant” provide financial histories analyzing the success of other high-priced recommendations? Stockton, Calif., located on a river, borrowed funds to construct a waterfront ballpark and entertainment center. This decision directly contributed to Stockton’s bankruptcy filings and financial collapse. How about the Queen Mary tourism project in Long Beach, Calif.? Disney and American Airlines discovered it was a money pit and quit after large losses. Or you can study Atlantic City, N.J., now on the verge of bankruptcy.
Bad decisions will outlive politicians’ and bureaucrats’ tenures in office. Taxpayers and their progeny will be saddled with the honeymoon bills. Legitimate business developers will avoid these places.
Hiring expert consultants who know interested developers will result in bad, costly advice that can harm your community and cause similar financial difficulties.
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Be intelligent. Develop lifelines that will attract employers who can provide a sustainable economy. Tourism is a fickle model and can result in setbacks from the law of unexpected consequences.
Jack Martyn, Pasco