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At a glanceCautionary tales:
• Myrtle Beach: This city built a hotel along the beach, separated from any other development, and without a franchise, Tobin said. Before the hotel opened in 2001, there were two potential buyers, and the one the city chose lost its financing after a year of negotiating the deal. The city chose to build it as a city hotel and is paying debt service out of its general fund.
• Indianapolis: Tobin said he visited this city several months ago and listened to a pitch by the city's mayor for building a convention hotel on the far end of a retail pedestrian mall, far from the convention center, to encourage pedestrian traffic. "Meeting planners don't care about that,” Tobin said.
• St. Louis: This city chose to build a conference hotel in its distressed economic empowerment zone. "One has to ask whether the timing of that city's growth needed a hotel at that location,” Tobin said. "It's had challenges because of its capital and timing.”