By now, the downtown Hilton/Baltimore Convention Center was supposed to be making the city $7 million a year in profits. Instead, it’s losing money. Consistently.
According to the Sun, the Hilton lost $5.2 million last year–capping off several years in a row of underperformance and millions of dollars in losses. Its critics also argue that it’s a bad example of urban design, and that it’s ugly.
The whole idea behind the hotel was that it would help bolster some of the losses sustained by the convention center itself… which also loses money, but is considered worth it because it brings money-spending conference attendees to town. If Baltimore had a nice hotel adjoining the conference center, the thinking went, then we’d be able to attract bigger and better events. That hasn’t exactly happened yet. Maybe it will someday… or maybe some of the higher-ups at the city need to do a little research into the sunk-cost fallacy.
Some people around town have argued that the city should sell the hotel and instead put the money to better use, like youth programs and rec centers.
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