Saturday, April 30, 2005

Foster strikes again!

KATC.com carries an AP story about another sports partnership deal signed by then Governor Mike Foster. Like the deal with the Saints, the private enterprise came out way ahead of the state.

Was Mike, whose administration was thought to be squeaky-clean by Louisiana standards, that easy to take advantage of? Was he that bad a negotiator? Was he so busy going to law school or commuting from Franklin, that he didn’t have time to study everything he signed? To AP:

BATON ROUGE, La. State officials want to work out a deal with the owners of a private golf course near New Orleans to avoid payouts of tax dollars to the club in the future.

Legislators were told last week that because of a deal to develop the Tournament Players Club of Louisiana at Avondale, the state owes the club a million dollars. The club is a joint development of the state and private firms that opened a year ago. It's currently hosting the P-G-A's Zurich Classic.

The course exceeded its overall expectations by recording 28,328 rounds of golf in the past 12 months. But only 1,748 of those rounds were booked through hotels, falling short of a state guarantee that hotels would book at least ten-thousand rounds in the course's first year of operation.

Officials have said that many players who visit New Orleans book their own rounds instead of going through the hotels.

The guarantee escalates through the fifth year of operation where the maximum state obligation is nearly two million dollars. But, if the club breaks even or makes a profit during a year, the state owes nothing.

Part of the problem this year was that the New Orleans hotel industry was never informed of the state guarantee or approached to help find a way to meet the goal. Bill Langkopp of the Greater New Orleans Hotel and Lodging Association says they'll do whatever they can to help correct the problem.

An attorney for the division of administration, Maris LeBlanc, says the state would like to open a discussion with the club owners about the terms of the contract. She would not say specifically what the state will ask to renegotiate.

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jbv's Competitive Edge 

24 Comments:

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The auto-pen signed the deals. If you think Mike Foster never read anything other than the Readers' Digest when he was in the John you don't know the man at all. He even admitted to getting one of insurance reform ideas from Readers' Digest. That says it all.

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