Friday, May 6, 2022

Funny of the Day

Leave it to New Orleans to teach a lesson in how to screw up economic development.  The Crescent City government managed to run off not just a Top Golf but its main competitor as well.  The Times-Picayune reported Tuesday

The company behind New Orleans' unfinished Drive Shack golf-entertainment complex at the site of the former Times-Picayune building is now considering walking away from the flailing project, leaving potentially millions of dollars in unpaid construction bills in limbo along with a crumbling eyesore along Interstate 10.

Illegally dumped tires and graffiti now cover parts of the construction site on Howard Avenue that was once touted by city and state officials as bringing 350 permanent jobs to the area.

The $29 million project has been in the works for more than four years. It was billed as a way to revitalize an underdeveloped area of the city and was partly funded by tax subsidies. But it has been beset by difficulties from the outset, most recently the financial woes of its Dallas-based corporate parent during the coronavirus pandemic.

The company reported in March that it lost $37 million in 2021 and total losses over the last three years at $160 million. Such losses crippled any expansion plans.

Drive Shack declined to comment further. But Joe Jaeger, who led the consortium that bought the 3800 Howard Avenue site in 2016 for $3.5 million, said that he is scheduled to meet with Drive Shack representatives in the next few weeks to discuss possible alternatives to a Drive Shack venue. There are $1.8 million of construction liens filed against the project.

What about Top Golf? Well, Top Golf was once interested in New Orleans but the powers that be screwed that up as well. You can't make this up.

In 2019, Drive Shack rival Topgolf International had quietly pursued a deal with Convention Center leaders to build one of its outlets in the $1 billion "entertainment district" planned for the center's upriver acres. However, the Topgolf project was shelved amid complaints from the owners of the Drive Shack project, which had the backing of local politicians and Gov. John Bel Edwards.

The Times-Picayune reported in May 2019: 

 Last month, a proposal to locate a rival Topgolf complex less than three miles away from Drive Shack's site, on land owned by the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, a state agency, caused a political kerfuffle that ultimately drew in Gov. John Bel Edwards.

Drive Shack's head of real estate wrote to Mayor LaToya Cantrell to complain that the Convention Center's process in approving a lease with Topgolf had not been transparent and competitive, while Jaeger lobbied the governor and other officials, arguing that the center's leadership shouldn't be competing directly with private-sector projects.x

At one point, Jaeger said that the Drive Shack project was likely "dead" because of the competing project.

In April, however, Edwards said the Topgolf project was “not something we’re going to pursue right now,” amid tense negotiations between the Cantrell administration and tourism leaders over finding money to help upgrade the city's problem-plagued infrastructure.Article behind a paywall.

Good job, New Orleans.  You managed to go from two to zero.   Good job. 


Anonymous said...

Pollitians and biz don't mix...

Anonymous said...

Is Harvey Johnson a "consultant" on this for New Orleans?

Anonymous said...

In New Orleans economic development means paying "the tax". If you don't pay "the tax" to the right people you can't do business and you might get a concrete overcoat and a trip down the river.

Anonymous said...

Democratic leadership strikes again.

Anonymous said...

still better than jackistan..

Anonymous said...

What they ran off was a future eyesore. There is much more to life that golf in New Orleans and Louisiana. A golf driving range might count as economic development in Mississippi. In Louisiana more jobs are created in a month by new entertainment venues alone than Mississippi creates in all sectors.

Anonymous said...

We are getting a Top Golf just near the Costco.

Can't wait!

Anonymous said...

10:42, Top Golf is awesome. Try out the one in Baton Rouge. Louisiana folks seem to love it.

But I agree, the term “economic development” gets thrown around too much.

Anonymous said...

“Economic Development” here in Mississippi is a term from our politicians that means “we comin’ to spend ya’ money without ya’ll’s authorization, since bein’ y’all’s money is actually our money” If Tate has done one thing right it was to deny money to the city pertaining to venues. The crime has to be stopped and I would be inclined to say I have no problem bringing the feds in to clean it up. I don't really care for that idea but you can’t have rallies or pray these things to go away. It is up to our leaders, the right ones, to make the decision. There was a time when “WE” had control of the city and things were positive and you were proud to call Jackson your Hometown. Not so much anymore. Now, the so called venues are to line peoples pockets and that’s all. You eradicate the crime and positive development will follow. It shows investors you are serious about making a change for the better.

Anonymous said...

Makes you wonder what all it took for Mr. Jaeger to pull off the hotel/golf course on airport road? Sounds as if he is rather adept in working situations.

Anonymous said...

There's a difference between economic investment and the taxpayers being involuntary investors in less than reliable businesses with "short life spans" and limited markets.

Anonymous said...

Democrats at work they are ruining NO. Take care of your tourists. Make them feel safe at all times. I have heard so many say they didnt care if they ever went back to new orleans. that is just sad. But its leadership.

Anonymous said...

TOP GOLF themselves has shown their choice of location in many cases is an automatic fail. Beer golf balls and pretty ladies is all great and everything but once the non-golf locals find's over. Turns into a fight pit and shooting gallery. NO government couldn't build a doghouse .

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Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS