Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Peddling Cloth

AZ Star Reporter Rob O'Dell has a Twilight Zone story about a Downtown Tucson Partnership presentation this week. Queue up the music and Rod Serling's voice.

During a presentation from Downtown Tucson Partnership Chief Executive Officer Michael Keith, Mayor Bob Walkup declared the corner of East Congress Street and North Toole Avenue as “the hottest entertainment spot in the country.”

Keith gave a presentation that said there has been $120 million in private investment downtown in the past 30 months. Keith said a developer from Austin who had also worked Albuquerque, told him that Tucson is the only downtown in the country where things are going on right now.

Keith said he couldn’t remember the developer’s name.

The private sector investment is so strong, Keith said, that he expected private investors to come to the city soon to build a downtown hotel and arena with private money.

Uh, what? Did we not just read about the Hotel Arizona's imminent closure in the face of occupancy rates below 10%?

The assertions in red are precisely what the Cloth is and does. Seriously, and I mean seriously, read the statements like a mathematician, a physicist, and think. Really. THINK. Believe them? Really. I am not joking. Do you believe what those two men said? Got data? Spreadsheets? Anything?

In their echo chamber of circular cheer leading and clapping for naked emperors, such statements can fly amongst smiles and friendly congratulations.

As Cigar Man likes to say, "Just when I thought it couldn't get any clearer."


Blogger Sirocco said...

Would be nice, if only it were true.

12/15/2010 8:34 AM  
Blogger Cigar Man said...

In their echo chamber of circular cheer leading and clapping for naked emperors, such statements can fly amongst smiles and friendly congratulations.

Well said, x4mr. That pretty much nails it. What's up with Keith?

Robish, know anything about this?

12/15/2010 9:25 AM  
Blogger The Navigator said...

While we're at it:

Diamondback Bridge surpasses the Golden Gate, Brooklyn, and London bridges in popularity, usage, and historical significance.

New York Yankees relocating franchise to Tucson, building $4.8 B stadium on top of A mountain.

TREO to bring 400,000 square foot General Motors plant to 22nd Street.

International committee considering Tucson for 2024 Olympics.

Yes, seriously, what a bunch of effing idiots. It sounds like they've woven this Keith guy into the community fabric. Hecker, Lynn, Singer, Snell, Lovallo, and the rest of the Cloth squad have him well roped.

Maybe DTP will rehire the twit at twice the pay.

12/15/2010 9:52 AM  
Blogger Liza said...

Those are good, Navigator.

Maybe Keith and Walkup have lived very quiet lives and they think that the corner of East Congress Street and North Toole Avenue REALLY IS “the hottest entertainment spot in the country.”

As for the rest of us, there's nothing left to do except wait for all those developers with private money to finally "get it" that Tucson is where it's all happening so they can build us a hotel and an arena.

It's actually kind of sad when people don't know when their jig is up.

12/15/2010 10:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

While it's possible this is deliberate deception, I think it's more likely that these statements are the result of sloppy speaking by sloppy people.

I don't know squat about this Keith character, except that it does sound like he has had the kool aid. It is becoming almost impossible to think Walkup is anything other than a complete idiot.

To say what he said at a public event with reporters like O'Dell present? What a moron.

12/15/2010 8:01 PM  
Anonymous Robish said...

Michael Keith is a fine fellow, but he may be feeling the pressure of having to justify himself and his organization's performance. He may be combining that stress with his passion for downtown and his desire to see it thrive, and stirring it all up in a big vat of Kool-Aid served by Larry Hecker.

I'm used to Walkup's nonsense, but what Keith said is concerning. Private investors to finance a new arena?? Huh?

I heard that he gave his slide show presentation to a crowd at a local Urban Land Institute meeting last week, and said something like all the new businesses downtown are there only for the love of downtown, and not because they expect to make money.

Huh? Isn't he supposed to be inspiring investors and potential businesses to come downtown? Instead he makes it sound like charity work. My friend left that meeting shaking his head.

The Austin guy whose name he couldn't remember was the featured speaker at that shindig, I think.

Oh, and the Scott Avenue Griffin is added to the list of 500 things to see before you die.

MOCA is spoken of in the same breath as the Louvre, Smithsonian Institution, and other "world-class" museums.

Yes, that was for Jeff and Anne-Marie.

12/16/2010 12:09 AM  

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