Providing Lancaster City & County with an Alternative Source for Local News and Commentary  _________________________________________________________
 3 / 3 / 07                      Publisher: LLC             Combined circulation: 70,000 +            Volume 1, Number 26
Three out of Four Nearby
Convention Centers Failing

Allentown Expo Center: Closed and sold in 2006.

Baltimore Convention Center: Experiencing 65% decrease in group bookings for 2008 from what the Convention Center booked in 2005. Booking fall off resulting in 70% drop in related hotel room bookings for 2008 from 2005.

Washington Convention Center: Predicted to lose $22 million in 2007.

Philadelphia Convention Center: Is meeting expectations. Located downtown in close proximity to rail hub to New York and Baltimore / Washington and Harrisburg, I-76, Independence Hall and Chinatown.

City Taxpayers, Hold
Onto Your Wallets!

According to the Feb. 28 Intelligencer Journal headline: "City mulls $140M of debt."

Patrick Hopkins, the city's business administrator, is quoted as saying, "We would have experienced a $900,000 debt decrease next year. So instead of that decrease, our debt load will remain the same."

What Mayor Rick Gray's capital improvement plan fails to take into account is the prediction of three board members of the Convention Center Authority that the proposed Marriott Hotel will
run a deficit of at least $1,800,000 a year, all or mostly guaranteed by the city.

Therefore, if the Convention Center / Hotel project moves ahead, by 2010 or 2011 the city debt service requirement will likely increase by twice as much as its savings in 2008.

That's $1,800,000 for 22 years = $39,600,000. That amounts to around $2,000 per typical city family.

Question for city families: Would you prefer a downtown hotel or the $2,000 in cash?

The Authority Board members' calculations are based upon the PKF Consultants, Inc. Market and Feasibility Study of May, 2006, with cash flow adjusted to reflect the almost $20 million in additional borrowings due to building cost increases and financing requirements.

The PKF Study is the only actual Feasibility Study made for the project. Earlier PricewaterhouseCoopers reports were Market Studies. The author withdrew them in 2005 due to changes in design and the marketplace and recommended they be updated.

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Commissioners May Choose Majority
Appointee to Authority on March 28
At the Feb. 28 Commissioners' Meeting, Commissioner Molly Henderson proposed that "a process similar to that used by the Board of Judges for appointment of former Commissioner Shaub's replacement" be used to select the fourth (and majority) County appointee to the Lancaster County Convention Center Authority (LCCCA).

Henderson proposed opening discussion at the March 7 commissioners' meeting. She said it was important to begin discussion soon because any candidate should observe at least four meetings before taking office, and the Authority doesn't meet every month.

Henderson distributed a timeline for the process and a short list of questions for the candidates to answer. Applicants would be required to submit their resumes along with the questionnaire. Their names and answers to the questions would be posted on the county's website.
Under the timeline, applicants would be interviewed at the public work session March 27 and the commissioners would vote on the appointee at their regular meeting March 28.

"This makes an open way to deal with it," Chairman Dick Shellenberger said.

Henderson's proposal stated, "Because the LCCCA is attempting to complete various complex transactions, any person appointed to the Board should have attended numerous LCCCA Board meetings before taking the seat."

Rapho Township supervisor Jere Swarr said, "We can only hope, if you're open with this process, many at the convention center authority might take the hint." Launches Radio "News Minutes"
Reaches Daily Lancaster Audience of 70,000 +
Sixty-second NewsLanc sponsored radio spots, broadcast on three local radio stations, provide an alternate source of news and commentary for Lancaster City and County residents.

Reports alternate about every two
hours on WROZ-FM, WLAN-FM and WLPA-AM during Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

Past and current radio news reports can be heard at, where articles on matters of local interest are posted daily.

Each spot ends: "NewsLanc speaks truth to power. Isn't it time somebody does?"

195 days … until county appointees become the majority on
the Convention Center Board.