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Reason Foundation

Big Boxes, Big Busts

Ted Balaker
January 17, 2005, 9:33am

Some claim that some big boxes will destroy cities, particularly if the sign out front says "Wal-Mart." Meanwhile other big boxes (e.g. convention centers) are supposed to be good for cities. They can attract tourists and turn some of the most boring corners of America into "world class" cities. In fact, if you put it that way, you've got a good shot at drumming up some public financing for your big idea. Enter Heywood Sanders. The frequent debunker of the case for publicly financed big boxes is at it again. His recent Brookings report finds: 1. The convention marketplace is declining and unlikely to rebound: 2. Undaunted, cities are dumping more money into convention centers: 3. Cities are digging themselves into a deeper pit by building publicly-financed hotels: (Via Planetizen.)

Ted Balaker is Producer


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