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This morning, the Washington Post reports that D.C. officials are considering issuing roughly $750 in bonds to finance a long-awaited hotel for our convention center.
This step, according to the piece, would be a major breach of our debt cap, but would help D.C. “compete with the National Harbor resort in Prince George’s County.”
Curiously, nowhere in this article does the word “Disney” appear—-and I’m not sure why. Just a few weeks ago, news broke that Disney had purchased 15 acres of property at the National Harbor—-that’s gotta be the biggest news in the local tourism industry in 2009 (minus that little inauguration thing that happened back in January.)
Back then, the Post spelled out how Disney’s purchase reflected on D.C.’s ability to attract convention business:
With its thousands of hotel rooms and huge public spaces, National Harbor has been a subject of speculation on whether it complements or cannibalizes the Walter E. Washington Convention Center and other conference centers in downtown Washington. Plans for a large new hotel at the convention center, considered a requisite for boosting business there, remain on the drawing board.
Either way, the convention center hotel—-which would be located at 9th and Massachusetts Ave, NW, according to this 2007 Post article—-has been in the works forever. What other explanation could there be for getting the ball rolling on it at this precise moment?