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BOSTON HOTELIERS BACK TAX FOR NO-STADIUM MEGAPLEX
Published May 3, 1995
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).