Hotel California

I must take gentle issue with my friend Gil Anda on two points in his last letter. He suggests as a source for information regarding redevelopment, and I agree that much is available from that source, including a link to the body of law that governs California Community Redevelopment. However, to suggest that they are not an advocacy group, i.e., "they don't have any agenda," is wishful thinking. The CRA web site states: "...California Redevelopment Association is comprised of over 340 Redevelopment Agencies and 260 private sector companies such as financial institutions, redevelopment consultants, developers and law firms..." This is not an impartial source of non-partisan analysis.

Secondly, he postulates a hotel that would generate $2 million in Transient Occupancy Taxes (TOT) per year.

About four years ago I spoke with a person in the city of Half Moon Bay's financial department who told me that the previous year's TOT for HMB was $2 million overall with $1 million coming from the Ritz Carlton alone. Keep in mind that this was the last year of the boom that ended in the bust.

Presuming similar TOT rates (9-11%) for hotels in like communities, what would this mythical hotel in the quarry look like?

Would the hotel here be twice as large as the Ritz Carlton in order to generate the $2 million? Or would room rates be twice as high as the Ritz Carlton?

Or should we be recognizing pipe dreams for what they are?

Lionel Emde

The above is the full text of a letter which was printed in the Pacifica Tribune on August 9th, 2006, and published here with the author's expressed written permission.