Letter to the Editor:Railyard workshop could be comedy
If it wasn’t for the handout that you were given at the recent Railyard Economic Impact workshop, you would have thought the Truckee Follies were being put on. Apparently it was the job of the folks from Strategic Economics do a skit about the data, with a slide show, and the audience had to see how much flawed data and how many errors could be caught. This would have been funny, except the Town payed this company over $70K to do this. It became real apparent from the get go that the info provided was slighted to supporting the development. No objectivity, their job was to sell the community on this project. To start, they compared Truckee’s economics to Telluride, Colorado, Bend, Oregon and McCall, Idaho. Isolated communities whose closest competition for the dollars is 3 hours or more away. The theater in the Sheraton Hotel in Telluride, which seats about 200, was compared to a 1000 seat theater proposed at the rail site, it was stated that it would make $750K, what was not stated is that $750K income was needed to make it viable. They stated that Truckee’s medium income was $75K, while their own written report stated that was 3 years ago and has been declining since, it was stated that Squaw’s retail space is only 77K sf, while facts are it’s over 100K sf with plans to double. It was stated that only 10% of traffic comes from the north of town on DPR, challenged on this, their source was the Town’s Road Dept, no hard survey on their part. When asked about occupancy rates of local hotels ect, they could only provide the dollars collected, not number of people, great research there. When asked how much unoccupied retail space there is now in Truckee, Town Manager Tony Lashbrook had to answer and it was “with the constant turnover of retail space , a fixed number is not possible”, yet the Road Dept can provide a “traffic survey”, hey Tony, how about a snapshot to provide a base line! Do you know that the fuel dock on Church St. will go away, the Town will be on the books for several million dollars to support this privately owned project. There is a whole lot going on between the Town and the developer Rick Holiday LLC that needs to be brought out into the open and the community needs to get involved, challenge the Town, do not believe for one minute that if this project is built, that the Truckee that most of us moved here for will continue exist.
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