Gromer Jeffers’ weekly political column in the DMN offered an interesting trial balloon this week: Would Dallas residents be interested in paying $30 million for a convention center hotel site located between the DMN building and the convention center for the possibly $350 million hotel project? The council’s Economic Development Committee met in closed session last week, Jeffers reports, to discuss the sites under consideration and the viability of the entire project, which is going to require some degree (as yet, unknown or at least unpublicized) of city subsidy to make it happen. Make no mistake: Without an adjacent convention center hotel, Dallas is having a difficult time competing against Atlanta, Las Vegas, Orlando, Chicago and the rest for major conventions. But the bigger question is how much money the city will and/or should sink into a project that will, by its very nature, compete with privately held hotels downtown. There’s no absolute answer for this one, but we should be hearing more about it soon since after the Trinity, it’s the highest priority deal floating around downtown.

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