Can Coral Gables Afford the Biltmore Anymore? The Answer Seems to be No!
July 22, 2010 1 Comment
All of the information on the back-and-forth between the City of Coral Gables and the managing company of the Biltmore Hotel has raised a very fundamental question:
Can the City of Coral Gables and the taxpayers of Coral Gables keep paying for the hotel?
Isn’t it time for the City to think about the real future of Coral Gables, rather than committing its taxpayers to more and more taxes to keep up this business.
Another good question: Is the Biltmore Hotel truly a viable business?
In the past decade rampant consumption, product of a false and temporary prosperity engendered by a property bubble, has now withered away with lower property values (household ATM machines), lower incomes, unemployment, a stagnant economy and pubic deficits to finance the debts of a failed Wall Street. Under these circumstances the Biltmore Hotel will never return to times of prosperity because people cannot afford a luxury hotel to the previous extent.
Either taxpayers will have to keep subsidizing the hotel (i.e., subsidize the rich clients of this hotel) or the City should admit that it can no longer afford this luxury. To negotiate a new contract with the hotel in which taxpayers have to pay the true costs of the hotel is not a good solution, because the economy will not return to the good times of the past decade.
Maybe the Biltmore Hotel should be turned into a museum and convention center or be shuttered. Hopefully, our Commissioners and the Mayor will think beyond their own term limits and come up with a solution that is fair to all Coral Gables citizens.