Maryland Stadium Authority asked to fund private conference hotel in Frederick

Source: Peter Samuel, Maryland Reporter, April 20, 2016

Maryland Stadium Authority officials begin talks soon with a Frederick team over a complicated deal for a public-private partnership to finance a $70 million downtown conference center hotel on Frederick’s Carroll Creek Park. The authority is reluctant to lend money to a private hotel operator but the city of Frederick doesn’t want to accept responsibility for losses that would put its taxpayers “on the hook.” The MSA is being asked to agree to a scheme by which state bond monies are formally lent to the city for a city-owned conference center, but then are immediately passed on to the hotel developer, who in turn will build a 200-room hotel and the conference center while undertaking to carry its expected operating losses. … Stadium Authority officials have insisted they will lend only to the City of Frederick for a city- owned conference center and that the city agree to accept liability for operating losses. Frederick City officials are in a political bind. They have repeatedly told local citizens the private developer will take responsibility for losses, so they want an agreement that passes their liability to the MSA on to hotel operator Plamondon. Whether such a deal can be crafted that is politically and legally viable  remains to be seen.