The Utica OD had been asking its readers for suggestions on what to do with the Hotel Utica now that a $million in back taxes is owed and a potential sale of the facility has recently fallen through.
How about this: Run it as an hotel!
The hotel was beautifully restored during the last decade. But the ability to bring about a successful restoration of an hotel does not mean there is an ability to successfully run an hotel. A different skill set is involved.
The Utica Phoenix has an article this month that makes a strong case that the Hotel Utica's problems are due to poor management -- in particular by a family member of the hotel's owner.
Most people can understand that if you have a business, you want to take care of your kids. . . .
But here, the Taxpayers have been on the hook for this facility. The City should use its creditor status to either leverage the owner to fire current management and hire someone with expertise and success in running a large hotel . . .
Or foreclose on the facility, hire the expert, and run the facility itself until a buyer can be found.
The fact that new hotels are going up in the vicinity establishes the market for hotel rooms. The City controls the hotel's environs (which could probably use some sprucing up). The City has the power to fix this.
Taxpayers deserve movement on this issue.