Sunday, May 27, 2012

Atwood Resort plans: Too good to be true?

Last week, Radius Hospitality of Canton reiterated its plan for Atwood Resort & Conference Center, which henceforth will be called Atwood Lake Resort and Golf Club.

By every measurement, Radius has an aggressive plan to turn the resort – closed since 2010 – into a regional destination.

That plan includes renovation and expansion of the current hotel and conference center, now with about 100 rooms and slated to grow to about 300 rooms, renovation of the 18-hole golf course including the addition of new holes, construction of a family water park and a skeet shooting range, and other improvements.

Radius President Scott Yeager briefed about 150 community members on the plans, noting that turning Atwood into a gambling venue isn’t on the agenda. Apparently Yeager is conceding that revenue stream to Rock Gaming’s Dan Gilbert.

Someone likened the Atwood plans to Myrtle Beach. How about Disney World?

The resort ultimately will end up in Radius’ portfolio by way of a five-year lease agreement, which means Radius will have about five minutes to make any money from the improvements.

So, something is going on here and it obviously involves oil and gas leases/royalties and what-have-you. Continue to color me skeptical because it all seems to be too good to be true for a place that was losing its owners $1 million a year before its doors were closed.

Let me reiterate that the fundamental mistake was made when the decision was made back in the ’60s to build the resort on the hill rather than at the water’s edge. I’ll concede, however, that it’s tough to see that shell of itself on the Edge of Paradise, just kind of hanging there.

A couple of reminders that apparently not everyone has a firm grasp on things… 

–The Plain Dealer reminded readers recently that the odds favored Cleveland’s new casino, the Horseshoe Casino Cleveland, and not the gambler. Yes, that’s right, gamblers. The odds favor the house. Always have. Did you think Las Vegas was built on the backs of winners? Know when to fold ’em.

–According to ABC News, Fort Lee, N.J., Police Chief Thomas Ripoli said that jaywalkers distracted by their personal technology had become so dangerous that officers had to get tough. Now, the jaywalkers face $85 tickets, which the cops figure is a lot better for them than becoming a traffic fatality.

“They’re not walking in the crosswalks,” the chief told ABC. “They’re walking against the red light, and they’re being struck by vehicles. We had three fatalities this year, and 23 people hurt, hit, [in] a three-month period.”

I agree with Democratic strategist James Carville that the Democrats, notably Barack Obama, have a lot of work ahead if they want to score in the November elections.

Obama should take nothing for granted as we head toward the conventions and the fired-up campaigns of September and October.

Obama isn’t getting much credit on the economy, if one takes the polls seriously, although Americans do feel better about the future while acknowledging that times remain tough. And he gets absolutely no credit from the Fox News conservatives on the capture and killing of Osama bin Laden, which is something of a mystery to me. I’m not sure what he needed to do differently.

Mitt Romney has to find some way to connect to the average American. He hasn’t done that yet and perhaps he’s not capable. Calling attention to his wife’s two Cadillacs doesn’t seem to be a great strategy.
I’m not calling this one yet. Give me another month or two.

Follow me on Facebook and Twitter (dfarrell_dover).

No comments: