No business like Dome business

Written by Bob McCormick on 7/21/2006 11:47:00 PM

Over at Off the Kuff, Charles Kuffner cites the preliminary progress being made in turning the Houston Astrodome into an indoor hotel.

I have my doubts about the entire enterprise, but I'm not sure that I see a clearer alternative.

Of course, some of my doubts are at a gut level. The "Eighth Wonder of the World" has been the scene of multiple historic sporting events (and being a former UH band member clouds my judgment even further). And I doubt that the residents of New Orleans will forget the Dome's role in last year's Katrina evacuation - something that's probably impossible to repeat at that scale if the Dome was a hotel.

But more to the point, my thoughts are that, with the loss of Astroworld, there are less attractions available around the Astrodome. It's surrounded by a massive parking lot, and would take 15 minutes to get to the nearest Metro train station at its perimeter (gotta be fun in summer!). Furthermore, hotel capacity is too high right now ... what happens if the operating income doesn't take care of the financing? Problem is, I don't see a better use for the old stadium.

We'll see how all this goes ...

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