Citizen Group Seeks To Halt Publicly Funded Hotel

A Dallas group delivered thousands of signatures to City Hall Thursday asking the city to let voters to decide whether the city should build a publicly funded hotel.

Although work crews show no signs of slowing down work on the future site of the Dallas Convention Center hotel, the citizen group says Dallas doesn't need any more hotels.

The Citizens Against The Taxpayer Owned Hotel, a group backed by the Anatole Hotel, marched into Dallas City Hall on Thursday to deliver 60,000 signatures and a message.

"The message the taxpayers  have sent could not be more clear: City Hall does not belong in the hotel business," said Anne Raymond of Citizens Against the Taxpayer Owned Hotel.

Councilmember Ron Natinsky disagreed, and said downtown Dallas is missing out on big bucks because conventions are not choosing the city.

"As far as I'm concerned, its full steam ahead right now," he said.

The citizen group agreed that downtown Dallas is no longer a convention hotspot, but argued that adding a publicly owned hotel isn't the answer.

"It's retail, it's shopping, it's gambling, it's transportation connected to all the wonderful destinations Dallas has," Raymond said.  "People aren't going to
change their mind just because you put up a 1,000 room hotel."

Natinsky disagreed, saying, "Dallas has more shopping and restaurants per capita than any other city in the U.S., so for them to say there's no restaurants and no shopping in Dallas -- I mean, come on."

The measure is expected to go for a citywide vote next year.

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