Comment 56836

By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted January 18, 2011 at 12:39:59

@H+H. First, I never clued in reading your posts before, that you were Hamilton HIStory + HERitage. Love what you are doing there and hope you never 'give up on Hamilton'. You read a lot of people posting on various local forums how they are glad they have gotten out of here or immediately planning to because they have had enough, but if folks like yourself and others who sell this great city like you do give up, we are all in trouble.

I like this part of your comment. Especially the bolded part.

We have to think seriously about implications. If IWS is rebuilt, and it opens, then what happens? What's the next obvious, and realistic, step? Who spends money doing what? What contribution will this make to the city? And it better be about much more than fans will be more comfortable and Bob Young will be happier. Much more. When we get these 2 promised Grey Cups, where do you think they will build the first new hotel that will house the out of town fans? The second? Why there?

Ask yourself the same set of questions about the WH.

Our last Grey Cup here I believe was a failure. Correct me if I am wrong. We couldn't give away all the tickets. There is no gurantee the hometown team will be there so we better be offering something pretty substancial to make sure that place is sold out on it's own - Cats in the final or not. You have places like Calgary and Edmonton that sell out within weeks. I think a modernized IW and re-aligned area can be the difference between a successful Grey Cup and one just like the last one, but you are right. Where will these people stay? The Connaught would be nice but I for one have lost track of where that building stands. Long term living or short-stay or a whole lot of nothing for the long term?

I also liked that you said either way - WH or IW, the fact is an issue that needs to be addressed. Are we waiting for the NHL to think about our short-term stay needs? Would a new stadium anywhere for CFL or soccer, neccesarily have encouraged investors to look at those opportunities? Perhpas with what else was planned in the harbor, yes?

Is there land in the area of IW to build a hotel, zoned or able to be re-zoned, and with the proper footings to support a larger scale one? Are there enough attractions with IW, Gage Park and it's Festivals (and new festivals to come hopefully), Ottawa Street, Pearl Company, The Childrens Museum, banquet centres, etc, to justify a hotel in the area? Is there a market to extend downtown east with this latest proposal? Do we want to have little choice but to stay downtown, or can we keep them busy in other areas of town and still have them leave with a good taste in their mouth about our city?

I might be in left field with these wonderings, but I'll throw it out there anyway.

In Buffalo, the hotels are quite a distance from Orchard Park. They have limo services for $20, that will take you to and from the game, you can bring beer in the limo, and the guys give you their cell numbers to call them whenever you want - no matter how late, to pick them up from the stadium afterwards. Now the distance is pretty substantial so perhaps that could be lowered to $10 a person if say the hotel was right off the highway in Innovation Park for instance. Just another transportation method to ponder to get fans to the stadium.

I think this form of transportation could be something to encourage becuase I know we met a limo full of Patriots fans that drove all the way from Boston to see the Bills game. It's great connecting with people from across the country our even just out of town. A bus or LRT does this too of course, but I think the goal would be to not have these people stay in Toronto where there are a million things to do, and then take the train in game day and not support our hotels, restaurants, shops, and such. A James St N Art Crawl during the Grey Cup festival would be amazing and huge so we want as many things like this going on to encourage people to stay right here.

I don't think the stadium neccesarily has to be right there though. By the hotel. By James St N. Imagine a fun-filled day in Wards 1 and 2, and then heading east game day to realize there is just no end to things to do in Hamilton. Game day becomes this amazing tailgate experience in the NOT paved over Scott Park field, a beautiful new modernized heritage stadium, perhaps a music festival at Gage Park the day before and a closed off street festival on Ottawa St that week too.

By continuing to play at 75 Balsam and beautifying that neighborhod too, we take our visitors around the city and we sell that Hamilton is not just a downtown community; It's beauty and wonder stretches across the whole of it.

Comment edited by lawrence on 2011-01-18 12:47:44

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