PG Calls Bull****

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PG Calls Bull****

Postby HomerPenguin on Thu Feb 23, 2006 2:27 am

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06054/659888.stm

I exaggerated for effect in the title. Credit where credit is due, this is actually a fair attempt to cut through the smoke and mirrors and actually assess how Harrah's got their seemingly high revenue estimate.

Also, Fast Eddie is considering dealing directly with the NHL:

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06054/659887.stm
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Postby Stoosh on Thu Feb 23, 2006 10:17 am

No need to exaggerate, HP. Harrah's history of possibly inflating revenue numbers was called into question once in this process already. It happened last week...

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06046/655402.stm

Both Barden and Morehouse dispute the findings. Granted, both Barden and Morehouse are speaking for groups in direct competition with Harrah's for the license, so they certainly aren't going to endorse Harrah's numbers. But it's just interesting that a week after they voiced their concerns, there are independent third parties saying the same things.

I found most amusing the comments about how Harrah's can meet their projections by cannibalizing the West Virginia casinos or assuming every Pittsburgher will acquire a gambling problem.

This is one of the things that everyone needs to be concerned about with this process. Harrah's MIGHT be promising something they cannot deliver like they have reportedly done in New Orleans.

And maybe I wouldn't be as skeptical if there was more tangible community giveback in the Harrah's plan. I don't know...I just have a bad feeling about it. I can just see the following thing happening seven or eight years down the road. Harrah's gets the license, revenue projections fall short, and these condos and office spaces that they're hyping sit mostly vacant (does Pittsburgh seem like much of a "luxury condo" town to you?). Sure, maybe our property taxes have gone down a little and that's great. Unfortunately, residents are stuck with the bill for access roads that had to be built so people could actually get to Harrah's without sitting in traffic on Carson Street for an hour. And, oh yeah...we're also footing part of the bill for our new arena.

Now take what Nationwide Arena has done for its immediate surrounding neighborhoods in Columbus, and superimpose that same general idea over the Uptown/Lower Hill/Fifth & Forbes corridor.
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Postby taiteng on Thu Feb 23, 2006 10:47 am

I have no doubt that FC will eventually need a new bridge or a widened Smithfield Street Bridge. Look at how much the State had to pay enviro-nazis
for studies just to paint the bridge. How about the costs it takes for environmental impact studies, traffic studies, designers/engineers plans before a bridge is even approved? And then the costs for the bridge material and the union company to build it will put the price tag above the cost for an arena. Why aren't these scenarios being discussed in the papers. To be fair, I am sure there may be issues regarding the IOC plan too. I just ask that all these items be on the table prior to it being awarded.
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Postby bill from turtle creek on Thu Feb 23, 2006 10:57 am

Exactly. This is why the impact studies aren't being released. You can bet a fortune that if the studies were favorable to FC they would be out front and center, and Rendell and O'Connor would be spouting them at every possible opportunity, much like they keep repeating their mantra about increased tax revenues with FC.

However, it isn't, and they aren't. So, it is very safe to assume that the impact studies speak loudly and expensively about bridges and roads. That is why somehow these documents need to get out into the papers.
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Postby taiteng on Thu Feb 23, 2006 11:07 am

Well keep in mind that any study will be bought and paid for by their respective applicants, so it still may be sugar coated. However, I don't think many engineers/consultants are going to risk straight out fraudulent claims. The city should hire independent consultants to perform their own studies to verify or debunk claims.
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Postby ExPatriatePen on Thu Feb 23, 2006 11:07 am

taiteng wrote:I have no doubt that FC will eventually need a new bridge or a widened Smithfield Street Bridge. Look at how much the State had to pay enviro-nazis
for studies just to paint the bridge. How about the costs it takes for environmental impact studies, traffic studies, designers/engineers plans before a bridge is even approved? And then the costs for the bridge material and the union company to build it will put the price tag above the cost for an arena. Why aren't these scenarios being discussed in the papers. To be fair, I am sure there may be issues regarding the IOC plan too. I just ask that all these items be on the table prior to it being awarded.


Taiteng

Did Smizik ever get back to you after you explained what "a local impact study" was and pointed out how O'Connor and co. are whith-holding that information?
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Postby bill from turtle creek on Thu Feb 23, 2006 11:12 am

taiteng wrote:Well keep in mind that any study will be bought and paid for by their respective applicants, so it still may be sugar coated. However, I don't think many engineers/consultants are going to risk straight out fraudulent claims. The city should hire independent consultants to perform their own studies to verify or debunk claims.



That's why it is even more interesting that the studies aren't released. I'm sure all of the studies are sugar-coated, and that all of them are probably predicting a need for road improvements etc, but based on location alone, Station Square is surely the the location most in need of expensive projects.
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Postby taiteng on Thu Feb 23, 2006 11:20 am

Taiteng

Did Smizik ever get back to you after you explained what "a local impact study" was and pointed out how O'Connor and co. are whith-holding that information?



No, he probably deleted my email as soon as he saw the Trib link. He only seems to respond when he thinks you don't have the facts to back it up
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Postby Racer17 on Thu Feb 23, 2006 11:28 am

taiteng wrote:
Taiteng

Did Smizik ever get back to you after you explained what "a local impact study" was and pointed out how O'Connor and co. are whith-holding that information?



No, he probably deleted my email as soon as he saw the Trib link. He only seems to respond when he thinks you don't have the facts to back it up


Agreed- he quit responding when I sent him a link from his OWN paper with some facts he was disputing.
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Postby BurghThing on Thu Feb 23, 2006 7:05 pm

Bozo, I mean Smizik doesn't concern himself with the facts. You should know that by now.
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