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BOSTON HOTELIERS BACK TAX FOR NO-STADIUM MEGAPLEX

     Hoteliers in Boston said yesterday that they will
"reluctantly back a hotel tax hike to help finance a new
convention center, but not if a stadium is part of the plan,"
according to this morning's BOSTON HERALD.  The group prefers a
"shelf tax" -- which would go into effect only if the convention
center failed to generate enough new revenue to cover costs --
rather than a direct increase.  Greater Boston Convention and
Visitors Bureau President Patrick Moscaritolo:  "The industry
wants to be responsive and is willing to talk about alternative
financing plans, but they all believe the domed stadium element
benefits the sports and entertainment industries, not the
convention industry" (Phil Primack, BOSTON HERALD, 5/3).
     MEGAPLEX NOT SO LUCRATIVE?  Price Waterhouse consultant
David Peterson has offered state megaplex commission officials
evidence that the facility would "break even at best and would
more likely fall substantially short of paying for itself."  The
report indicates that the convention center linked to a domed
stadium would cost between $51-74M a year in debt service, yet
would only generate $53M a year in increased tax revenue.
Commission Co-chair Kevin Fitzgerald said Peterson did nothing to
cause the panel to abandon its efforts on behalf of the megaplex,
but others have concerns.  Marisa Lago, chief of economic
development for Boston Mayor Tom Menino:  "Today's information
was certainly sobering."  While it appears likely that plans for
a "stand-alone" convention center will proceed, the future for
the megaplex is less certain because most of the football revenue
would be generated by local residents who don't bring new money
to the state (Richard Kindleberger, BOSTON GLOBE, 5/2).
     COMMISSION SEEKS PR FIRM:  The megaplex commission is
looking for a public relations firm to promote it.  The four
reportedly being considered:  Rasky & Co., Regan Communications,
Burnieika, Bearfield and Emerson, and Copley Communications (Joan
Vennochi, BOSTON GLOBE, 5/3).
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