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It's been a long road with more than its fair share of protracted negotiations and questionable decisions along the way, but the Detroit City Council has finally cleared the path for Cobo Hall to get the much-needed expansion, repairs and ongoing maintenance it's deserved for years. By choosing not to vote on the plan at all, the Council will allow Cobo Hall to be turned over on lease to a regional authority that will oversee the building's day-to-day operations. Says Council President Kenneth Cockrel Jr.:
I know this has been an emotional issue and a controversial issue. But it's real simple: We don't have the money to do this on our own. This thing is a go, and it's something they should be happy about. It's going to allow us to re-position Cobo to make it competitive, to secure the (North American International) Auto Show and attract other kinds of convention business.
With this potential roadblock out of the way, it now seems likely that the North American International Auto Show will indeed stay in the Detroit – assuming, of course, that the world's collection of automakers is willing to continue making the annual trek to the Motor City in January.

[Source: Detroit News]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      In the past 2 years, I have been to a couple 2 and 3-day conferences held at COBO. It won't matter what they do to the place, it still sucks as a venue. If they expand the place, it's still an excrement hole.

      Additionally, just try to find a decent hotel within walking distance. Yes, there's the Marriott at the RenCen and the other property across the street... but they suck just as bad as the Ponchatrain. Do you feel safe downtown walking around? Nope. I'm just glad I live in Michigan so I can carry my concealed pistol (with license) when I'm downtown.
        • 5 Years Ago
        OMG because so many bad things happen downtown Detroit. If I'm not mistaken the 1st Precinct (which encompasses downtown Detroit) reports very little violent crime, in fact at one point it was a deal less than popular areas such as downtown Royal Oak.

        I don't know what is considered walking distance by some, but there is a brand new Westin, Doubletree and Hilton Garden Inn. On top of that there are 3 new casino hotels within a short people mover/cab ride. The hotels in the RenCen and Millender Center aren't anything to write home about, but they are far from horrible (I wouldn't bother with the Pontchatrain at all).

        • 5 Years Ago
        Good reasons to put it in Chicago, then :-)

        Great hotels (you name a brand, and we have it) a short walk, cab, train, or bus ride from McCormick; ample parking and the South Loop is pretty safe around there.
        • 5 Years Ago
        You're lying!!

        Do I need to post a list of hotels some being min. 4 stars in walking distance of COBO?

      • 5 Years Ago
      Detroit needs to be revitalized not given up on.
      • 5 Years Ago
        • 5 Years Ago
        No, he was always for the renovation. Blame goes to all the corrupt council members such as Monica Conyers.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Why expand? Nobody's coming to Detroit anymore.

      Plus, I don't want my tax dollars going to GM so it can waste money on Auto shows. Just takes pictures and video of the cars and upload it to the GM website. Once GM has paid back the US taxpayers (i.e. those who voted for McCain), they can go back to running themselves into the ground. Again.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Dude, did you know the Blue states subsidize the Red states.

        Who is a taxpayer again?
        • 5 Years Ago
        As a taxpayer, I don't want it going to anyone! They should all have been forced into Chapter 11.

        ODS? No. That would mean my opinion of him was irrational. It's quite rational. Everything he's touched has come crashing down. Even his teleprompter.

        Manufacturing. Well, if you count the addition of new BMW, Mercedes, Hyundai, KIA, Nissan, Toyota, Honda, and Volkswagen plants built in the last 15 years, that's a lot of growth in manufacturing capacity.
        • 5 Years Ago
        In this economic environment I don't think GM, Chrysler or even Ford would have survived a chapter 11 without government support, but on this we can agree to disagree.

        The manufacturing base has shrunk significantly in the past 40 years and the additions of these plants is only to gain foothold in the American market, but once it becomes economically difficult to stay here they will move to a cheaper place like every smart manufacturing company.

        Mentioning teleprompters is a clear sign ODS by the way.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Being a tax payer I rather my money goes to GM and other manufacturers than going to AIG or Goldman Sachs, but since you are delusional dude who thinks he is immune to the decline of American manufacturing base and blinded by the Obama Derangement Syndrome I think I'm wasting my time by replying to you.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Its too damn cold in the D to hold a car show! Last time I went in 2005 it started snowing on the last press day and didn't stop til February.

      When I went to the Anaheim show later that year (October) they were giving test drives of the Phaeton, and some other cars... and it was a perfect 75 degrees.

      The whole "its close to the automakers HQs" doesn't sway me either. Tokyo isn't where Japan's big companies are headquartered, Frankfurt isn't Stuttgart, or Munich, and while Paris might have PSA's legal and admin, its industrial facilities are close the German border.

      So again, why is having the show remotely relevant anymore?
        • 5 Years Ago
        If you're really an auto enthusiast a little snow shouldn't stop you from going to see some great cars. :-)

        Detroit is not only home to Ford, GM, and Chrysler but is also home to many suppliers and many foreign automakers have major operations nearby. Toyota has a massive tech center in Ann Arbor, as does Nissan and the current darling of the automotive world, Hyundai-Kia. All of which have been built fairly recently.

        Is Detroit as fancy as Chicago? Hell no, but I promise you that people in Detroit have a greater appreciation for cars because it's what built it and helped destroyed it. Chicago is a big city where for most cars are appliances, a tool to get to work. In Detroit people love their cars. That is why the Woodward Dream Cruise is such a big deal, why the Autorama hot rod show is held in Detroit (where they present the Heisman trophy of hot rodding the Riddler Award) and why major auto publications, both print and electronic are located in the Detroit area.

        Just because the cars are not built in the Detroit area (thank the UAW) doesn't mean that the area doesn't have a significant place in the automotive world.

        I'm not trying to be a jerk but there's more to it than just saying "Detroit sucks".
        • 5 Years Ago
        I get the toughening up, I live in Chicago...

        But for the many foreign brands represented there, air travel concerns due to weather can be a serious problem.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I get the feeling it's going to continue to lose money and relevancy... but that's just me.

      • 5 Years Ago
      Expanding floor space in a dying city. What a novel idea!
        • 5 Years Ago
        Of course not! We should expand the floor space of the building even though we know in advance that in its current state it has excessive capacity and demand will only dwindle with time. We must rebuild areas affected by floods knowing that they will be underwater in 6 months from now. We must build $300-million bridges knowing that they will be used by one or two cars a year. This type of work will keep us employed and our economy going! Yeah!
        • 5 Years Ago
        And there in lies the issue with urban sprawl....

        It sucks so why bother fixing what we obviously know is wrong, and instead build further and further out. Meaning we have to dump a ton of money into brand new infrastructure, just so people can have nice shiny new things. Yeah the auto show would have been quite the draw out in Novi. You don't see the Chicago auto show out at the Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont or LA out in Anaheim do ya?

        The Metro Detroit area as a whole is full of leaders that cannot and will not look at the big picture. What's bad for Detroit is often viewed as what's good for Macomb and Oakland County. The problem with that mentality is that outsiders don't look at it that way, they hear Detroit and think of the region as a whole. If Detroit were to literally be erased tomorrow, do you really think anyone would have use for that region at all?

        One other thing. Instead of locals whining and complaining about how much Detroit sucks, I would think it would be within their best interest to prop up the cities image.
        • 5 Years Ago
        "We must rebuild areas affected by floods knowing that they will be underwater in 6 months from now. We must build $300-million bridges knowing that they will be used by one or two cars a year. This type of work will keep us employed and our economy going! Yeah!"

        Disillusioned or misinformed, just pick one!!
        • 5 Years Ago
        I live in the Metro Detroit area and I have to agree with this...really very silly.
        • 5 Years Ago
        That's the problem, the locals you're referring to, aren't local, they're usually someone that lives outside Detroit, but for whatever bias reason, has no interest in Detroit, don't come to Detroit, don't care about anyone living in Detroit, and just looking for any reason to put it down.
        It's funny, if you come to any of the events Detroit still holds downtown, and you see thousands of people from surrounding cities, obviously having a good time, you'll have to ask yourself "I thought Detroit sucked"....
        Hell, we just had a boat race, I'm probably a mile away, the motors so powerful and loud you can hear it like it's in your back yard..... not to mention the same day F-18's doing maneuvers about 700 ft. above your freaking roof. Not sure about you, but that stuff is cool to me.... Detroit, has a lot to offer, but no one can see any possibilities if all that outsiders do is highlight the negative.
        • 5 Years Ago
        One could argue that we are a dying country. Does that mean we abandon it and don't invest in it? We help people affected by earthquakes and hurricanes whenever they're affected. Perhaps some gratitude should be shown when economically depressed cities need help. After all, our country would not be anywhere close to where it is today if it were not for the industrial base of the Midwest.
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