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The Padre Gets A Fresh Sack Of Taxpayer Money

by Scott Cox posted Jul 14 2011 9:08PM
Hey, if you're a regular patron of the Padre Hotel, I have great news! They're getting valet parking. For people who never go there, like me, the news is not so great. They're getting valet parking, and we're all paying for it.

The Bakersfield City Council just voted to spend $107,000 to build a staging area for the Padre Hotel at the corner of 19th and H Street. But, they say it will be used for "community events." So I guess we'll totally get our money's worth. Next up is a $431,000 project that will provide sidewalk and alley improvements for the property. Nice. Look, I wish the owners of the Padre all the success in the world, I just don't think the city needs to be investing in private businesses.

For starters, it is stunningly unfair to the other hard working, tax-paying businesses in town, especially downtown. They're all stuggling to make ends meet while the city pumps money into the competition. I was against our investing in the Maya Cinemas for the same reason. That had to sting a bit for the owners of the other movie houses in town.

If the Padre Hotel was such a great investment opportunity, they would've been able to get investors to invest (that's why they're called investors). Now, I don't know if all the buzz around town about the Padre Hotel's financial issues are true or not, but it seems to me, the more cash the city pours in, the worse it's going to be if it should fail. I hope they don't end up in a desperate state, throwing more and more money into the hotel to stave off the embarrassment of admitting they shouldn't have gotten into the hotel biz in the first place.

If the Padre Hotel is going to make money, let it. If it isn't? Pull the plug before any more of our cash gets "invested" in a place that I don't want to go to in the first place. It's careless, it's irresponsible, and even in a booming economy, it's grossly unfair to other local businesses.

And here's a little bonus for all you struggling downtown businesses: the staging area we are all contributing to will host public events sanctioned by the city, and direct even more business to the Padre Hotel and away from you.

Props to Councilmember Russell Johnson, who was the lone dissenter on this terrible idea. We owe him our thanks for his no vote. And one last thing. These city planners, who at the onset of this boondoggle said it would benefit all downtown businesses by drawing people downtown, were completely full of it. I go downtown quite a bit and I haven't noticed anybody leaving the Padre Hotel to cruise around downtown.

But then, maybe valet parking will help...
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07/14/2011 9:41PM
The Padre Gets A Fresh Sack Of Taxpayer Money
Please Enter Your Comments Below
07/15/2011 10:38AM
Maya Cinemas is awesome
Bakersfield needed Maya Theaters to come in and up the game. They also helped to lower prices, make it more competitive. I rarely go anywhere else but the Maya. Big comfy seats. Downtown. It's awesome. As for the Padre Hotel. They are ripping off taxpayers and, some feel, bands. But the band thing is a whole other story...
07/15/2011 10:55AM
Sorry, you just don't know the scene
It's funny you think that, but the majority of business es are benefiting from the Padre's existence downtown. There's actually a crowd on many off nights (Tuesdays, Sundays, etc) that wouldn't have any people downtown except for the Padre. It's surprising to me as well because if you actually were downtown like you say you are, you'd be completely aware of this. I've talked to dozens of business owners who are grateful for the business that the Padre has provided them.
07/16/2011 12:02PM
Let the people who benefit... pay!
If the Downtown Businesses are so desirous of improving the Padre, let them pay for it. We have so many 'projects' that we cannot afford (as a city) that we are having to close our libraries, city pools, and cut police & fire protection so that we can pay for them all. I don't USE the Padre, I won't recommend the Padre, and it is a waste of MY (and MANY others) taxpayer funds.
07/17/2011 11:47PM
Benifits from the Padre
No, I think that you are funny saying that dozens of business owners are grateful for the Padre, first there are not that much businesses around the Padre for you to say that, and the only people happy that you are there is the young kids who drink at your establishment, other than that, the Padre is consistantly losing money...and how does a crowd on Tuesday night that drinks at your place help any other business there?
07/20/2011 6:10PM
small business wants money
I say it is unfair for the our tax money to be used in this manner! Not only is it not good business decision to pump more money into a failing business but now the city and a select few of individuals have a conflict of interest. Who and what will prevent them from using city assets (Police, ABC, Fire department, Health department) to hamstring any business they see as competition? Answer: Nothing! from what I hear this is already going on....... SMH
07/20/2011 6:43PM
i am a struggling restaurant-bar i want free money too?
Must be nice to be well connected with certain city council members & receive free money? As a struggling local business here in bakersfield it upsets me to see the city just throwing money away!I agree with comment above conflict of interest! BTW yes the city seems to be harassing & making it difficult for other business in the downtown area. like i said must be nice to know people who give taxpayers money too a failing business!
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