Archive for the ‘Beale Street’ Category

The Convention Center and Kevin Kane

Wednesday, December 4th, 2013

December 4, 2013

The Convention Center

I have been out of town visiting my daughter, son in law and grandson in San Francisco. It is a lovely town but not much fun getting there and returning by air from Memphis. I picked up a recent morning paper and found that the flights from Salt Lake to Memphis and back were being cut further. In past years there were nonstop flights from Memphis to San Francisco but now we have to fly to Timbuktu to get there and the price is out of sight.


I spent the first day back visiting with Kevin Kane, President and CEO of the Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau. It was a pleasant visit and he is very knowledgeable about the Convention Center and visiting Memphis in general.


What I was after was the annual financial statements of the Cook Convention Center. I had tried to get these statements directly from the Convention Center office but either they were never in or they refused to answer calls. I had the June 30, 2007 financial statement but none later. The 2007 statement showed a loss of $3.5 million dollars.


After discussions with Kevin he promised me that he would get the 2008 through 2012 statements to me and that since 2007 the losses have been cut at the convention center. He sent the statements later and the 2012 loss at the Cook Convention Center was cut to $2.8 million dollars. We discussed the future of convention centers in general and the new costly one in Nashville and the old Cook Convention Center and the possibility of a new one for Memphis. He said that all convention centers lose money but the purpose is to develop tourism for the city and make money on tourism generated sales taxes and hotel, motel and car rental taxes. I speculated that internet advertising and electronic face to face meetings might eventually diminish convention trade but he contended that face to face meeting were still important.



Memphis 2020 Growth Plan??

Thursday, September 12th, 2013

September 12, 2013


As I start reading through this massive document I have to start with the introduction and rationale of the plan. Here are the first 26 pages of the draft plan.


To be a successful urban area, Memphis has to do the following.


  • Increase property values
  • Decrease poverty
  • Ensure government efficiency
  • Improve neighborhoods
  • Invest in human capital
  • Grow the economy


Wow!! What great ideas. Why did I not think of those?



Beale St And The 17 Boxes of Documents

Thursday, November 8th, 2012

November 8, 2012

There was an article in the Commercial Appeal last week concerning a court ruling on the ownership of Beale St. The judge ruled that Performa Entertainment Real Estate Inc., the company that has run the Beale Street Entertainment District since 1982, can assign its sublease to the city of Memphis.


This brings to mind that in 2006 I received a report that there were 17 boxes of Beale Street documents stored in a locked closet at Robert Lipscomb’s Office of (more…)

The Bluff City

Tuesday, December 13th, 2011

The Beale Street Final and Costly Solution

Monday, July 5th, 2010

As I read through the final agreement between the City of Memphis and John Elkington, see attached, I am amazed by the terms. Consider the income stream that Performa gets for the next 22 years.

The Cost of Obscuration (Lack of Transparency)

Friday, March 5th, 2010

A friend of mine said recently when I told him about my recent experience with lack of transparency in a local government agency “Where there’s obstruction there’s fear. Where there’s fear there’s uncertainty and ignorance. Where there’s uncertainty and ignorance there’s a bloody mess.”


Beale Street Fiasco

Friday, December 18th, 2009

The recent article about the law suit about Beale Street brings to mind the following items that I reported four years ago. (more…)