I agree with people who support a downtown casino that a luxury hotel and convention centre would be an attractive addition to downtown Hamilton. However, we don't need a casino to get this built: PJ and Peter Mercanti already promised to build a major hotel when their company, Carmen's Inc, pitched their plan to take over the Hamilton Convention Centre.
Their bid included a proposal for a 44-storey, 440-room hotel, including 150 condo units and three restaurants. When Carmen's won that bid, PJ Mercanti said, "We look forward to saving the taxpayers of Hamilton a lot of money, and we look forward to using the convention centre opportunity as a catalyst to revitalize downtown."
He reiterated that promise during the General Issues Committee meeting on February 6. Asked if Carmen's was still planning on building a hotel downtown regardless of what happened with the casino, he replied, "We remain committed to hotel development in Hamilton."
That's reassuring news, because it certainly wouldn't be wise for Hamiltonians to expect that their proposal is contingent on being awarded the casino, given that the contingency in their original proposal - that they be awarded the contract for the convention centre - has already been fulfilled.
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