Public Affairs Campaign Succeeds by Taking it to the Streets

It's a controversial and growing way for cash-strapped cities to attract private developers: create public-private convention centers/hotels and bet that revenue for city coffers will follow. (Cities are able to do this because they're offered lower interest rates not available to private developers.) Of course, existing hotels in the area argue that any tax-exempt competitors pose a severe threat and would ultimately cost them business and force them to cut jobs. The ensuing debates -- which have popped up in several cities in the last few years, including Denver, Houston, Sacramento, Calif. and Washington, D.C. -- take on all the characteristics of a political campaign, where PR can play a crucial and often decisive role.

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