The Omni Apparently Wants to Set Dallas' Image Back Three Decades With "Texas Tycoon" Sweepstakes

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Last we checked, the downtown Omni is doing pretty well. Better than expected, as a matter of fact, as it finishes its first season this week after hosting conventions for such groups as the American Chemical Society, the American Society for Microbiology, salsa-swilling library scientists and presumably some non-scientists as well.

That's not to say there isn't room for improvement, particularly in the ever-competitive world of convention hosting, which is why Omni Dallas is rolling out its latest marketing push: confirming the world's stereotype that the city is a testosterone- and oil-fueled place to enjoy a nice, bloody steak in the '80s.

Hence its announcement yesterday of the "Texas Tycoon" meeting planner sweepstakes. From the press release:

The hotel announced yesterday its Texas Tycoon sweepstakes. Living large like an oil tycoon, one planner will receive roundtrip airfare on American Airlines (up to four tickets); Presidential Suite accommodations for four nights; dinner at Bob's Steak & Chop House with "Dallas" series star Larry Hagman; tours of Southfork Ranch, plus a visit to the TV show's working set, complete with VIP transportation.

Is this really the image of Dallas the city-financed hotel wants to project to the rest of the world? We have a relatively vibrant and diversified economy, neighborhoods and developments that can legitimately described as cool, a good number of creative people doing creative things. We've spent three decades trying to shake the decades-old perception that Dallas is nothing like the TV show, and now we turn around and try to convince people that Dallas is exactly like the TV show?


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47 comments
timetomoveon
timetomoveon

I love this post because Eric managed to share an opinion so insipid that all the commentators stopped fighting for a minute and joined forces like GI Joe and Cobra.

rufuslevin
rufuslevin

well...saudi arabia still has its historical image, france has its historical image, and chicago has its own enduring image....why can't Dallas have an image.

 

the old Bob Thornton image got ditched, the Tom Landry image got ditched, the Colony Club image got ditched, the State Fair of Texas astro ride image got ditched....so why can't we have something other than Archie and Arthur, JWP corruption, and massive Hispanic rah rah for an image ??

r_a_schumacher
r_a_schumacher

Gotta market this dump somehow.  Few come here for the scenery, weather, or high culture.

Sotiredofitall
Sotiredofitall topcommenter

Believe it's called "marketing"; has nothing to do with reality, has to do with what sells.

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

While certainly not a high-brow concept, the Texas Tycoon is a gimmick that Dallas can use to humor tourists who expect this sort of rubbish.  It's not any different than say, Philadelphia, with its actors in 18th century garb sashaying around Independence Hall for photo-snapping tourists; they eat it up.

J.R.
J.R.

I got a ranch in Downtown Dallas

Buy Diamonds by the ton,

Chase cuties in my Cadillac

I drill oil wells just for fun!

 

Dallas can do what they do, but they can't do what we do.

 

Yes, people want this experience.  I want that experience.   It's fun.  Dick.

J_A_
J_A_

I see nothing wrong with this. That sweepstakes actually sounds kinda fun. Sure it's hokey but people identify Dallas with this stuff anyway so might as well play along.

babalu99
babalu99

Eric, here's a tip - NOBODY cares about your opinion...  NOBODY.

xdarkridex
xdarkridex

Folks, it's official: the hipsters have taken over the news.

 

Here's a scoop for ya, sparky: the Dallas reboot is POPULAR.  It's profitable.  People watch it.  People like it.  It's shot here, set here, and generally brings attention here.

 

Partnering up with that show in a promotion can not be a bad move.  Not everything can be about patchouli-soaked organic co-op markets.  That image of Dallas you think is so harmful?  People are buying it with their eyes each time the show airs.  The Omni is just recognizing that and hoping to grab a little of that mojo and turn it into cash for the city.  

 

The fact that you're concerned about the 'image' of the city more than its financial success and the continued success of the Omni shows you have absolutely no clue about life.  It doesn't have to be 'cool', it doesn't have to be 'modern', it has to MAKE GODDAMN MONEY.  

movinondown
movinondown

Maybe they could have a contest where the winner gets to pretend they are some blowhard hack writer for some out of touch libtard "alt weekly" instead.

BurmaJones
BurmaJones

Eat shit and fuck off to whatever shithole you came from, Eric Nicholson.

movinondown
movinondown

Who fucking cares WHY tourists come here? How is this any worse than most of them coming here because a president got shot.

TRTTenant
TRTTenant

You can look at the liquor tax numbers pre-Omni and post-Omni online at the TABC. The numbers back up holmantx's claim that the Omni has sucked sales out of the businesses that don't have taxpayer support. Most of the competitors are down 10 - 20% in sales since their opening. And in an "improving" economy.

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

we need strippers downtown and we need them now.

Dallas_Joe_Schmo
Dallas_Joe_Schmo

Because calling it "relatively" vibrant and diversified economy, neighborhoods and developments that "can legitimately" described as cool, a good number of creative people doing creative things" will appeal to people that know nothing about Texas other than what they remember?  Why not lure them here with the fun, old  idea but surprise them with everything else? 

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

Doing well?  It doesn't have to make its debt payments and won't for another couple of years.  Remember? it borrowed not only the construction costs to build it but also three years' worth of extra bond money to pay the note payments.  Read the Bond issue, man!  It's right there in black and white.

 

This thing goes tits up the moment it has to start paying beck the mortgage (the bond debt), and that includes the money we borrowed to pay the mortgage (ha!).

 

And here's a tip:  Ask Omni what happened to the general manger.  The German guy.  Nils.  Before he went back to Germany, he told me it all hinges on what the Sheraton does (as well as the other downtown hotels).  What he meant was this:

 

He said the Omni has not increased the pie.  The tide is not rising to float all ships.  It's DOA.  It's cutting in to the other hotels.  You know the ones.  They are the ones who actually have to pay MILLIONS in property taxes AND hotel/motel taxes (15% on top of each room) because Baby Huey doesn't 

 

Go to Hotwire and punch in 75201 zip code.  You can get a Four Star room from $53 to $67.  That's the Sheraton.  Walk-in price is $155.   Hotwire is what they call an aggregator.  A room discounter.  Overbuilt markets (like downtown) dump a chunk of their rooms on it to sell otherwise vacant rooms at deep discounts.  Any money is better than no money.  They won't tell you the name of the 4-Star hotel downtown until you buy, but there's only one - The Sheraton.

 

Remember the psuedo-feasibility study on this Public Works Hotel?  They plugged in room rates at $211 averaging 69% occupancy for the year once the bond money runs out (to pay on the debt) solely to make it work on paper.  

 

and the mayor left town.

 

 

MariaB
MariaB

SO last century.

Albert
Albert

Maybe because there's a TV show called "Dallas", which is about Texas Tycoons?

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

 @r_a_schumacher we have 6 months of AWESOME weather.  a couple of months of a bit too hot and a month of a bit too cold.  Then 3 months of HELL.

rufuslevin
rufuslevin

 @Myrna.Minkoff-Katz ...dallas is not so much "highbrow" whatever that means...neither is Ft. Worth or Houston and certainly not Austin, San Antonio or El Paso....anyone unhappy needs to move to NYC or Boston to rub shoulders with the elite highbrow snobs of the nation, or to San Fran to just do whatever naked with mazola oil.

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

 @JaniceA Exactly.  And what's more, Dallas is not Vegas and it won't be able to copy what they do.

rufuslevin
rufuslevin

 @babalu99 nobody cares about ANYONE'S opinions on the internet, babalu99....(I thought babalu got married!! )

rufuslevin
rufuslevin

 @xdarkridex well.....mark cuban, jerry jones, ross perot jr, and a bunch of others like it rich and sleazy....

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

 @movinondown Serious question, if you tuly hate every word that graces this website bc its as you call it  a "libtard alt weekly," why are you here reading?  I get disagreeing and arguing points but you HATE everything that is written here so why not not just quit reading

rufuslevin
rufuslevin

 @BurmaJones now that is harsh and rather mean spirited......didn't your mommy teach you manners?  it goes this way, "now jonesieboy, if you can't say something nice, then JUST DONT SAY ANYTHING at all."   see, good parenting shows up with the way the kids all conduct themselves as adults. 

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

 @movinondown I agree with you too, believe it or not. 

Eric, is Vegas hurt that they host the big Rodeo whatever they host?   NO, I wish we had that in Mesquite, I suppose you'd bristle at that too.  I guess this makes you officially a douchebag. 

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

The House of Blues just cut their asking price again.  Turn that venue into a PALACE Caberet Royale.  That's this town used to be known for.

 

and get a variance on zoning to let Gilley's bring in Las Vegas Shows.  Adult entertainment.  THAT's the ticket.  Yeah!

rufuslevin
rufuslevin

 @holmantx jobless people are going to sleep in their car anyway....and eat at 7-11.

WylieH
WylieH

 @holmantx The Federal Government will also provide $249.1 million in reimbursements to the City over the life of the bonds to subsidize part of the interest cost.

WylieH
WylieH

 @holmantx It's also important to note the manner in which Leppert and Suhm structured the bond payments.  Not only did they borrow extra money to use to cover payments for the first few years, they also set up an increasing payment structure-- essentially deferring and compounding part of the debt service until later years.

 

 

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

 @holmantx the Omni is exempted from hotel taxes?  That's terrible.  I thought the city should've offered a ground lease, with certain specs, then let the bidding commence.  The city would've had the benefit of not having to pay tax on the lease (which is a more modest advantage, that would redound back to the city)  and, the city's liability would be far smaller.

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

 @holmantx I agree with you 100% on this.  I don't support treating utilities as such, but hotels ain't utilities. 

 

I don't want to be irrationally confrontational with you; though it may seem like you're getting licked on one end and bit on the other.

TRTTenant
TRTTenant

The liquor tax rolls back up your contention about sucking the sales out of the other hotels. Definitely. The Ritz has dropped an average of 20% (month to month) comparing to the year before the Omni opened. You can see the same among all the other hotels. This during a supposed "recovery".

rufuslevin
rufuslevin

 @scottindallas well, we DONT have the Cowboy Poetry thingy here like Harry Reid keeps funding in Vegas.......

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

 @holmantx Or an old Western themed bordelloesque strip bar.  I hate those places, but even my grandfather, who came here from the farm in OK supports this.  He said, those attractions are what makes a city a city. 

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

 @WylieH Dumping accrued but unpaid interest on the backside of the loan term I haven't seen since the heady days of the 1980s S&L Kingpin shenanigans.  At the time, they did that because the interest rates were 14%, but when they set paybacks up like that, it was borne to lose.

 

Suddenly this hotel is going to have to come with  $3 million a year out of room revenue just to pay the interest.  And it still owes the principal payback as the bonds mature.   And the only way to do that is to sell the white elephant back to the private sector, or refinance with another loan.  But all that hinges on it being worth as much as what it cost to place into service, which is why the private sector wouldn't touch it in the first place.  On performance, it is a MILE away from being able to pay for itself.

 

And you can thank these dipshit meeting planners who we're now trying to entice with goofy, aged gimmicks.  They are the ones who cheerleaded this thing.  And they didn't give a hoot whether it was feasible or not.

 

Send in the strippers.  ONly haked women can save us now.

joseph
joseph

 @scottindallas Actually the City tried to do this for years, but no one would invest.

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

 @rufuslevin I'd take that too.  Though that would be a new form of douchebaggery.   Cowboy poetry in ft Worth or Amarillo might be a different matter, but here, would be too much

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

 @holmantx higher tax rates would discourage the politicos from seeking the booty that no doubt encouraged them.  Low tax rates encourages speculation and financialization, not production

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

 @joseph they didn't either, cause the land was never available.  Perhaps they put out feelers, and found nothing; and that should tell us something all it's own eh?

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