Posted on October 31st, 2011 in Convention Center Series


By ‘hook or by crook’ and against the stated wishes of almost 80% of the public, a $176 million plus convention center and a hotel were built in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania largely at the cost and risk of tax payers. It has necessitated large annual subsidies and resulted in serious collateral damages.  This is a series describing how all of this came about.

Lancaster County Pennsylvania is known for its rich farmland, a variety of industry, and major tourist attractions.  It has a long history of virtuous and transparent government and leadership by a responsible print news media owned and guided by the socially responsible Steinman family.

But Lancaster was not immune to the alteration of values during the late 1980’s,  1990’s and most of the first decade of the twenty-first century during which ‘social democracy’ – transparency, fair play, and respect for one another – became hostage to arrogance, greed, and abuses of the public trust by some members of the government, business and media establishments.

Fortunately there has been a nationwide awakening to traditional American values and a growing awareness of predatory elements.  Once again the Lancaster print media plays a constructive role through responsible reporting and restraint.

What follows is how  the altruistic desire to develop the former Watt & Shand Department Store site morphed into a betrayal of public trust that brought about the Lancaster County Convention Center and Marriott Hotel.   The project has caused irreparable damage due to a five percent tax on the countywide hotel industry, throttled downtown gentrification to the south, eliminated what otherwise could be a half a million dollars annually of needed real estate tax revenues, consumed funds for more worthy undertakings such as the expansion and renovation of the Lancaster Public Library, destroyed the careers of faithful elected officials, and was and continues to be at immense government expense and taxpayer risk.

The series was published in installments over three years and recently re-written for purposes of continuity and inclusiveness.  Although principally authored by Chris Hart-Nibbrig and edited by the undersigned, there were many contributors and fact checkers to whom we are most grateful.

We trust that the publication of this series both at and as a separate web site, and perhaps someday in a print edition, will serve as a deterrent to future media abuse and private sector exploitations and  will prove informative both to scholars and others interested in the history of the community.

Robert Edwin Field, Publisher    October 30, 2011   Lancaster, Pennsylvania


Leave a Reply


More News


"....I have never made it a consideration whether the subject was popular or unpopular, but whether it was right or wrong; for that which is right will become popular, and that which is wrong, though by mistake it may obtain the cry or fashion of the day, will soon lose the power of delusion, and sink into disesteem." Thomas Paine, Common Sense, on "Financing the War", March 5, 1782


Blog Archives

Convention Center Series

Willis Shenk: The challenge of transition

Willis Shenk: The challenge of transition

Willis Shenk deserves the many accolades that his passing has ...

Recalls how LCCCA contracts with PSP were approved

Re: Convention Center missing $600,000 a year in concession ...

Keisling on Pennsylvania Politics

Keisling on Pennsylvania Politics Index

Keisling on Pennsylvania Politics Index

Index of the ongoing series by Bill Keisling Six Decades of ...

How the Corbett Administration is diverting state funds to bail out Harrisburg

Hidden state subsidies involve inflated parking leases, electricity purchases, fire ...

Lancaster Acquisition of Harrisburg Incinerator

Prospects cloudy for Corbett’s Harrisburg bailout

Prospects cloudy for Corbett’s Harrisburg bailout

by Bill Keisling Corbett Administration officials publicly say the Act 47 ...

Coalition forming to challenge Corbett administration’s Harrisburg bailout plans involving LCSWMA incinerator purchase

by Bill Keisling Citizens dissatisfied with the Corbett administration's plan to ...

Tsukerman on Russia

China against Russia

China against Russia

By Slava Tsukerman One of the ideas subject to ongoing discussion  ...

Russian Fervent Nationalism

By Slava Tsukerman Results from latest Russian polls are amazing. Here are ...


Arlen and me, part three:  We visit George Soros

Arlen and me, part three: We visit George Soros

I would travel to D. C. every couple of months ...

The importance of educating rural girls in Afghanistan

The following is from a report from CARE in 2013. “In ...

Santa Monica Reporter

A watery apocalypse and a spelling bee

A watery apocalypse and a spelling bee

By Dan Cohen, Santa Monica Reporter Director Darren Aronofsky had a ...

Belated Oscar Commentary

By Dan Cohen, our Santa Monica Reporter Although more than two ...

LGH Series

American Way of Birth, Costliest in the World

American Way of Birth, Costliest in the World

NEW YORK TIMES: …“It’s not primarily that we get ...

Health Care’s Overlooked Cost Factor (LGH take note)

NEW YORK TIMES: When the Evanston Northwestern Healthcare Corporation ...