The Costly Montpelier Hotel Fiasco

Everybody in Montpelier is already well aware of the decades long and now abandoned Capital Plaza hotel and parking garage project, but for the benefit of others let me quote Charles Martin, of the Vermont Chamber of Commerce.

                Says he, “The project was approved by an Act 250 panel, the Development Review  Board, the Design Review Board, and Montpelier voters. The City has invested more than one million dollars in the pr0oject, that will now have to be paid back in property taxes instead of parking garage revenues…The Bashara family, owners of the Capitol Plaza, will forfeit over a million dollars because of legal fees related to an endless appeals process and the project’s subsequent cancellation.”

                “Montpelier loses fifty to 60 construction jobs, thirty to fifty hotel jobs, and the State of Vermont loses an estimated $300,000 in annual rooms and meals tax revenue.”

“Perhaps most upsetting in the wake of an economically devastating pandemic, Montpelier and nearby businesses will not experience the widely anticipated increase in hotel guests that the new venue was expected to generate for local shops and restaurants...”

“A small group was able to derail the project... the Act 250 appeals process has evolved into a costly and reliably dilatory tactic often used by groups unwilling to accept development proposals that have broad community support.”

I voted for Act 250 fifty years ago, and hoped this wouldn’t happen. Silly me.


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Enter Comment Here:

  • kobza joshua
    commented 2023-11-23 00:37:48 -0500
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  • Samuel Shultis
    commented 2021-04-25 14:43:00 -0400
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  • Scott Mears
    commented 2021-04-23 21:20:07 -0400
    Let’s see how long it takes the city to build the parking garage. The city wanted a larger garage .so it was increased .the lost future revenue of this development will not be recovered in our time on earth remaining. . Who in the business planning stages of creating progress to satisfy needs of growing communities would consider developing in the capitol or vermont !! Shame on the negative 10! Back to the dark years of attracting growth and employment. A travesty.
  • Irene Stewart
    commented 2021-04-23 11:16:32 -0400
    I voted for the hotel/garage project as it would have benefitted the City of Montpelier greatly. But a group of 10 or so, decided they just did not want it, and made up reasons why it should not exist. The Basharas had the money for the project, the residents voted for it in November 2019, but busy bodies in and out of Montpelier decided no, no garage in their town. Damn sad. It will be decades before there is any real progress in Montpelier, and a family with money to promote it. Some have called for boycotting businesses where the 10 or so own or work as many in this city are angry this has happened. Montpelier is the seriously divided city in Vermont, that 10 people decided they did not want. Many have said they will remember who those 10 are (one has moved out of the city), for a very long time.
  • David Flemming
    published this page in EAI Blog 2021-04-23 07:05:01 -0400