Hammes Company to Rule the World!

Posted June 19th, 2014 @ 11:59 AM by

Or at least every major project in Dane County . . .

Hammes Company
– Edgewater, check!
– James Doyle Square, check!
– Alliant Energy Center, check!

Hammes Company to Perform Comprehensive Alliant Energy Center Study
Local Firm Selected After National Search; Study will Inform Future of Alliant Energy Center

The Dane County Board of Supervisors on Thursday unanimously approved a $150,000 with local consulting firm Hammes Company to perform a comprehensive study of the Alliant Energy Center’s place in the local and national event and exhibition market, as well as the Center’s capital needs, business model, strengths and weaknesses, to culminate in a report to be delivered by January 2015.

The City of Madison will contribute $30,000 toward the study, and the Greater Madison Convention and Visitors Bureau will contribute $25,000.

“I’m thrilled that a local company came through with the best proposal,” said Dane County Board Chair Sharon Corrigan. “Jon Hammes and his team will bring their considerable experience and talents to the project along with their own knowledge of the Alliant Energy Center and its history, and the long history of the exhibition and convention business in Dane County. That local perspective will prove valuable, I’m sure. I look forward to their report and the opportunities to move forward with the Alliant Energy Center as an anchor for tourism and economic development throughout the Greater Madison area.”

“The Alliant Energy Center is a key asset in our destination. We appreciate the opportunity to be engaged in this conversation to insure that the very important voice of the visitor is represented,” said Deb Archer, President and CEO of the Greater Madison Convention & Visitors Bureau.

The contract calls for an analysis of the Center’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats; an analysis of the exhibition business and the Alliant Energy Center’s place in it; analysis of the Center’s capital needs; an analysis of the potential of the real estate attached to the Center; and an examination of financial and governance models. These will all include extensive interviews with Alliant Energy Center staff, County staff, local tourism leaders and other stakeholders.

All analyses will include consideration of environmental sustainability and racial equity, according to the contract.

Alliant Energy Center currently hosts two major annual events — World Dairy Expo and Midwest Horse Fair — in addition to many concerts, sporting events, conferences and expositions.

Ok, before the Edgewater, who ever heard of the Hammes Company? What do we know about them? Can’t wait to see how they work that “racial equity” piece in there.

I’m concerned, what we have from them at the Edgewater is the $16 million lie that they couldn’t possibly do it without $16 million in TIF, they didn’t get the TIF and yet it is being built. James Doyle Square is a boondoggle. What can we expect at the Alliant Energy Center?!

Personally, I’m just kinda creeped out wondering what they are offering public officials to get these kind of deals and why have they become a sudden favorite when we don’t know their track record and they had many issues in other communities in which they worked. Plus, I know I was offered support during my campaign if I were to agree to certain things, I didn’t, I paid the price. I kept my integrity.

Maybe they’ll do an awesome job. To me, this is just one more project where we need more vigilance from the community. Their public process on the Edgewater kinda sucked. The community process on Judge Doyle Square has sucked. Racial equity includes public participation, will that suck too? I see no racial equity in either of the Edgewater or Judge Doyle Square. How will the Alliant Energy Center be any different.

Sigh . . . should have been paying attention in advance, instead of noticing when the press release came out from the county board nearly a week later.

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