As expected, we did receive responses to last week's commentary on the convention center, but far less than anticipated.
One viewer wrote, "Let's face it; there are lots of cities competing for a finite amount of convention center business. Just because we're all fond of the Wilmington area doesn't mean we should simply ignore the fact that many of those competing cities actually might have even more to offer than we do."
And, "Well, it's official. Although no city has ever made any money operating a convention center, Council has "bulled ahead" pushing our white elephant through," wrote another.
"First, there isn't going to be 1,200 jobs, there will be 1,200 construction jobs while this mistake is being built. Then it will undoubtedly run over budget, which most construction projects do. Then after the room occupancy taxes don't cover the costs, the city will hit up the people for the money by raising our taxes. It is very irresponsible to build this without a motel. What if one doesn't come along?" wrote a third.
Well, we don't believe that's going to be a problem. We're told by city officials that since the groundbreaking, several new hotel developers have come forward expressing interest in the project.
One viewer suggested we should, "conduct a poll to inquire the number of citizens of Wilmington who actually support the Convention Center." Well, we believe a poll was conducted in October, it was called the city election. A block of candidates ran on a platform opposed to the convention center, and to hear them talk, the majority of residents didn't want to build it. Yet, not one of those candidates were elected.
Now that plans are underway, it would make the most sense for everyone to get behind the convention center. Its success would benefit the entire region.
Click the link to the right to view all viewer comments.