Hyatt planner says no to arena TEE site

Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2009 2:20 PM
Last updated Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2010 10:42 PM
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Developer Courtland Dusseau says he’s not interested in building a Hyatt hotel downtown if the James Brown Arena’s exhibition hall becomes the trade, exhibit and event center site.

Taking the city’s $20 million on hand and using it to renovate the arena was proposed by former Mayor Bob Young in a letter to the editor published in The Chronicle on Sunday, and Mayor Pro Tem Alvin Mason has since said in television news interviews that the idea warrants serious consideration.

Mr. Dusseau, managing partner for Alabama-based Legacy Hospitality, had planned to build a $25 million Hyatt Place Hotel & Business Center on Reynolds Street near the current TEE center site. The Augusta Commission voted to put it there in 2007, but this year the board has split along racial lines over whether it should be funded for $38 million and how to balance it with a deal to fund revitalization of the blighted Laney-Walker and Bethlehem neighborhoods.

The developer said his concept hinged on the center being near the Augusta Common, the Savannah River and existing convention center inside the Augusta Marriott Hotel & Suites. Were the TEE center in the James Brown Arena, conventioneers would have to somehow be transported to and from their hotel rooms.

“It just doesn’t make sense,” Mr. Dusseau said. “It’s not thinking of the guests.”

Mr. Dusseau said the Augusta Common could be used as expanded event space. Out-of-towners would also want to be near the lively scene on Broad Street, he said, and the James Brown Arena is just too out of the way.

“They have the best site where it is,” Mr. Dusseau said.

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henrystripe
62
Points
henrystripe 09/30/09 - 01:34 pm
0
0
Hyatt hit the nail on the

Hyatt hit the nail on the head. There is money to be made for the City, which will benefit ALL of Augusta with increased tax revenue and, perhaps even more importantly, JOBS for our citizens. Visitors WANT to enjoy the our beautiful river and Riverwalk, not hang out at/around the civic center. Mr. Mason's constituents should let him and his obstructionist cronies know that they are NOT doing the people any favor by denying the will of the people (which was voted on. by the way).

onlynaugusta
41
Points
onlynaugusta 09/30/09 - 01:50 pm
0
0
Augusta is one city that will

Augusta is one city that will NEVER progress. It's too many dumb people making plans. Mr. Dusseau keep moving please. Your wasting your time here! We have people running the city with no type of business ideas on how to make the city bigger and better. In order to have a decent city, you need people with decent ideas. Once again, you get what you vote for.

zcock
60
Points
zcock 09/30/09 - 02:23 pm
0
0
Why is that when anything

Why is that when anything gets done in Augusta that will be good for the community it is thought of benefitting the WHITE people? Whenever money is set aside for the whole of the community we also have to basically set aside and payoff the BLACKS. IE: Laney Walker. This is stupid. We all benefit from the money that is invested in the downtown area and we all lose when it fails. I can just imagine what kind of monument we will have to build the BLACKS whenever the baseball stadiums plans get completed. I guarantee it will not be a surgery that is paid for.

MadSnapper
69
Points
MadSnapper 09/30/09 - 02:25 pm
0
0
Augusta should take a lesson

Augusta should take a lesson from Chattanooga, they cleaned up downtown and made great use of the river. It's a city similar in size to Augusta yet continues to move into the future by doing the right thing without worrying about racial lines. A downtown ballpark, IMAX theater and Aquarium all anchor an amazingly progressive city for its size. Hey, and guess what? You can actually fly directly from Chattanooga to not only Atlanta and Charlotte, but Washington D.C., Dallas, Chicago, Memphis and more... Why can Chattanooga do it and not Augusta?

concernednative
28
Points
concernednative 09/30/09 - 02:47 pm
0
0
I have often said Augusta

I have often said Augusta could move along a lot farther by modeling itself after other cities mainly Chattanooga,TN, Greenville, SC, and Greensboro, NC. We don't need to reinvent the wheel just follow what others have done. You do need to be first on somethings but we have a close proximity to Atlanta and Charlotte and the river. So lets go hometown.

Riverman1
93494
Points
Riverman1 09/30/09 - 02:57 pm
0
0
Bob Young was mistaken with

Bob Young was mistaken with his contention that the World Congress Center in Atlanta wasn't near the hotels. I've stayed at the Omni for meetings and walked across Centennial Park for exhibits. His entire premise was wrong. Putting the TEE near the JB Arena would be like, instead of Atlanta having the World Congress Center at Centennial Park, putting it across town.

grinder48
2054
Points
grinder48 09/30/09 - 03:00 pm
0
0
Hyatt rep understands
Unpublished

Hyatt rep understands business where Aug Rich Cnty politicians don't. What a SHOCK!

lifelongresidient
0
Points
lifelongresidient 09/30/09 - 03:10 pm
0
0
before thinking about

before thinking about building the TEE center the goal 1st and foremost is to make the downtwon area safe for those who want to, and have money to spend..what good is a TEE center when the event goers have to fear for their lives. you can't build a multi-million dollar event center and expect people to come and spend their money when they are not safe or have the perception of not being safe...how many event goers would have to get robbed on the river walk before word gets out that it is safer not to go to augusta for a convention or other event hosted at the TEE center...the decison makers need to get out of the "if we build it they will come mentality" come back to earth and give up these "pie in the school ideas" and if you want to develop the downtown area and make it vibrant once again you must start from the ground up and rebuild your infrastructure, have a police presence to deter crime an make the downtown area a nice place tht people from all walks of life are able to enjoy

zigzag
0
Points
zigzag 09/30/09 - 03:15 pm
0
0
Forget downtown and build a

Forget downtown and build a convention center somewhere that is safe to park and walk. Until you push the drug dealers and trashy folks surrounding downtown it will never be desirable.

Painter
24
Points
Painter 09/30/09 - 03:26 pm
0
0
Just forget downtown. Let the

Just forget downtown. Let the whores and thugs have it. build up North Augusta and Evans for visitors. Let the idiots who can't see past their black noses have and run the brothels and gang infested RC.

humbleopinion
1
Points
humbleopinion 09/30/09 - 03:33 pm
0
0
The RiverWalk is the BIGGEST

The RiverWalk is the BIGGEST waste of real estate in the area. What a beautiful natural resource that could be utilized for business and recreation, but instead has a walking path. Look at cities like Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Louisville, Evansville and St Louis that have WONDERFUL riverfront attractions. Cinci and Louisville have floating restaurants and nightclubs that bring HUGE numbers of visitors to the area along with being a mecca for boaters. Augusta has NOTHING to do on the river other than walk and be robbed.

disssman
6
Points
disssman 09/30/09 - 04:04 pm
0
0
Is it the arena is too far

Is it the arena is too far away, or the potential parking that would be needed for guests? I still remember counting the number of rooms and suites and counting the number of parking spaces and they differed dramatically. If we want a low cost high quality facility that can be expanded in the future, with plenty of 4 lane access to interstates, go to the airport areas. Plenty of room to build family entertainment facilities and easy access to all utilitys. Further, it will be close to the labor pool of housekeepers and ground keepers and it is far removed from the illegal activities prevalent in downtown and should be easy to police and secure.

AhsanMinnik
0
Points
AhsanMinnik 09/30/09 - 04:09 pm
0
0
C'mon, what's wrong with

C'mon, what's wrong with building it at the JBA? The visitors could get free lunch at the soup kitchen across the street......

Riverman1
93494
Points
Riverman1 09/30/09 - 04:38 pm
0
0
With a TEE at the JB Arena I

With a TEE at the JB Arena I envision a pimp convention where they can display their cars and "employees" in the exhibit area. Furs that look like they belong in your grandmother's closet will be worn by the pimps while they explain the benefits of their particular business. Panama hats will be sold to visitors along with 40 ouncers. Delonte West, the tattooed white guy NBA star, can shoot baskets in one of the goals in the JB Arena to attract the Columbia County crowd.

hockeymann
226
Points
hockeymann 09/30/09 - 05:23 pm
0
0
Dusseau got it right..TEE

Dusseau got it right..TEE Center belongs on the river property.
Bob Young needs to go back to TV work, which is all he ever did
properly.

CWV
0
Points
CWV 09/30/09 - 05:49 pm
0
0
IF Hyatt wants a TEE Center

IF Hyatt wants a TEE Center let them build it. That way when it goes broke, because no one will want to have a convention here, they can take the loss...not the taxpayers of Augusta.

NO TEE CENTER!!!!!

Dixieman
17306
Points
Dixieman 09/30/09 - 08:02 pm
0
0
This guy makes more sense

This guy makes more sense about TEE than any other comments I have heard.

Brad Owens
4906
Points
Brad Owens 09/30/09 - 08:23 pm
0
0
So let me get this right, we

So let me get this right, we must spend $100,000,000.00 in tax monies to get the Hyatt to spend $25,000,000.00? Oh yeah, THAT is a great deal for us!

TheOne
0
Points
TheOne 09/30/09 - 08:53 pm
0
0
Hey Riverman....you think

Hey Riverman....you think ACORN workers will show up too with a booth giving some of their free advice. (shock)

APiratesLife4Me
0
Points
APiratesLife4Me 09/30/09 - 10:23 pm
0
0
Leave it to a select few in

Leave it to a select few in RC to keep the white man down.

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