Thursday, July 16, 2009

Thursday Morning Emerald City News Roundup

Ben Lomond Hotel to be spruced up under new ownership; the Std-Ex calls for multi-platform council session video broadcasts

We'll highlight two particularly interesting items from this morning's Standard-Examiner:

1) There's encouraging news for Ogden City residents on the Standard-Examiner business page this morning, with the following Scott Schwebke story, reporting that a new owner has acquired the Ben Lomond Hotel in foreclosure, following a default by the previous owner on its note and deed of trust (including a Chapter 11 proceeding, which apparently went exactly nowhere):
Bringing Back Ben Lomond / New owners seek to revitalize Ogden landmark
Mr. Schwebke reports that the new owner, Ben Lomond Suites, Inc., is already undertaking repairs and refurbishments, and that at least one Godfrey administration spokesman is expressing optimism that this grand downtown city gem will be restored to its "former prestige as a landmark hotel."

We'll be keeping our fingers crossed that city officials won't throw a wrench into the new owner's restoration plans. Ogden City has recently been a tough market for downtown hoteliers; and it seems to us that a new city-subsidized hotel competitor is the last thing these new owners need, as they begin their effort to get the venerable Ben Lomond Hotel back on its economic feet.

Hopefully the Godfrey administration will show some discretion, and not gum up the works, by offering taxpayer-funded financial incentives to lure yet another out of town hotel operator to locate in the Junction Money Pit. Let's allow these private investors to put their own money to work for once, and cooperate with them, as they prepare to put the Ben Lomond Hotel back onto the city tax rolls. They're doing it on their own dime, folks. If the Godfrey administration has a lick of sense, they won't meddle in the Ogden hotel market, as Ben Lomond Suites, Inc. engages in its effort to get the Ben Lomond Hotel back on a financial even keel.

2) We'd also like to direct our readers' attention to this morning's most excellent Doug Gibson editorial, wherein the Standard-Examiner unequivocally joins Weber County Forum in calling for an arrangement where city council sessions can be broadcast in video on Ogden's Channel 17 and/or locally operated web sites. Frankly, we're having a hard time mustering up any reasonable argument against council session video broadcasts; and will thus add that we'll go along with the Std-Ex and argue that it doesn't matter how this project is accomplished; but that the important thing is that it gets done. Read this morning's fine editorial here:
OUR VIEW: Broadcast Ogden council meetings
The only feature on this morning's Std-Ex editorial page better than the editorial itself, in our opinion, is this fantastic accompanying Calvin Grondahl cartoon, by the way, which quite brilliantly portrays exactly why we believe these proposed video broadcasts are bound to become a major Ogden audience TV/web market hit:
Broadcasting Ogden City Council Meetings
So what say our gentle readers about all this?


Danny said...

Grondahl really hits the spot sometimes :)

Danny said...

Regarding the Ben Lomond, so let's see, it went broke, foreclosed, was sold, then re-opened all apparently without the help of the government or the all-knowing king. It seemed like the system worked somehow, almost like there was an "invisible hand" working.

Maybe that same system WOULD HAVE WORKED for the mall property and for so many other things, had that system been allowed to work. Instead, here in Ogden, as usual, we have massive and typically incompetent government involvement in business and we end up with lots of marginal (but politically connected) businesses and monstrous public debt.

The system that was used for the Ben Lomond, the "leave it alone system", seems like a good one. It appears to be a more effective economic system than government involvement . Hey, maybe we should give it a name. Here's an idea, let's call it "free enterprise".

Cathy said...

Keeping the video off the newspaper site is cutting off their noses to spite their faces, if the goal is to provide the videos to as broad an audience as possible. Most people would expect to find such a thing on a local news site in addition to the city's own site.

The paper has been publishing minutes and agendas of these meetings for decades alongside advertising with no ill effect. There are scores of video clips of news stories already on the site. What's the real issue here?

OgdenLover said...

Actually, the SE publishes a very brief, cryptic agenda once for each upcoming Council meeting. I've never seen Council meeting minutes published in the SE. In fact, finding minutes on the Ogden City website is near impossible despite the links you'll find there. They just don't connect to anything.

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