Questions, Answers, & Comments Needed on Hotel/Conference Center

Now that we have arrived at the morning after on the hotel/conference center plan, it is important to consider what we don’t know.

We don’t yet have a business plan. So we don’t have yearly projections of assumed revenues and expenditures. We don’t know what assumptions are being made about the demand on campus for conferences and overnight stays. We don’t know how the facility will be operated. Will it be staffed by UCLA employees? Contracted out?
There appeared to be an error in the initial press release about assumed future local area competitive hotel rates. What are the actual assumptions?
We do know that a large parking structure will be demolished. Exactly what are the parking plans for the displaced cars? We know there will be considerably fewer parking spots in the new project. Presumably, those new spots will be underground and expensive to construct. Will the costs be absorbed by the project in some way or will the costs be spread to all parkers around the campus through higher parking fees?
As was pointed out in the first round on this project, the Faculty Center – which now has been spared – has its own internal financial problems. Adding new conference facilities presumably will divert business from the Faculty Center, aggravating those problems. Were those impacts on the Faculty Center (or – for that matter – on other conference venues) modeled in formulating the new plan?
The site of the project, shown above, is opposite a municipal bus station. What happens to those buses during the construction period? There seemed to be a plan in fact for moving the bus station behind the Faculty Center to the central location. Is that plan now dead since the hotel/conference center won’t be where the Faculty Center is?
So far, what we have is general assurances. We are told that there is plenty of campus parking so not to worry about the demolished parking structure. We are told that there will be so much campus conference activity that other venues and private area hotels won’t be adversely affected. Indeed, local hotels will have more business. But assurances are not formal projections that can be independently evaluated.
There may well be more questions to be asked and blog readers should feel free to add comments and questions using the blog’s comment option.
Bottom line to the project’s planners. Are you sure? If so, let’s see the numbers.

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