New construction has been a deficit producer in some places, and junked the hotel debt rating of Austin and Phoenix. Communication in the 21st century and a space glut have taken the steam out of traffic. All this is surely familiar to the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber junta that won’t release the study conducted by Convention, Sports & Leisure International, the outfit that recommended construction in the mentioned towns.
Apparently, OKC has some significant challenges in becoming a convention mecca, but that’s on a need-to-know basis, so keep it under the hat. No doubt why Mayor Mick Cornett and his likeminded cohorts are willing to corrupt the genial tradition of the Oklahoma City Council, and deny the deferral request of the honorable Councilman Ed Shadid before the best informed and researched member of the horseshoe could enter his findings into public record. (These are the same members that assured Dr. Shadid in the just proceeding session that deferrals are always granted when requested.) The chamber must have thought it providential intervention when Dr. Shadid missed that international flight connection.
It’s hard not to see this whole sordid affair as a cynical textbook case of bundling and bait and switch. Package the expensive, unpopular project with ones people are enthusiastic about, all with an inferred timeline, then do the bidding of the ruling class in town once you get the vote. If the good citizens of OKC are fed up and reject an extension, they’ll be spiting the projects they wanted.
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