The argument du jour pertaining to a carousel and high-end hotel is mostly Carmel showing its age. Is a carousel a good use of public money in the 21st century? Some cities think so. Is having a high-end hotel downtown a good use of public money in the 21st century? Many big cities think so.
A city that covets corporate headquarters must recognize the need for those companies, on occasion, to bring customers or guests into Carmel and put them up for a night or a week. A hip, modern hotel within walking distance of all that downtown Carmel now offers should do well.
The mayor, my favorite Republican, has done much for the city, but after so many years his reach still exceeds his grasp. These items, especially the hotel, could conceivably help the city compete for high-paying jobs. But they are a tough sell to aging and increasingly grumpy Carmel residents suffering from the delusion that our property taxes are too high. (Talk to anyone owning a home in Illinois.)
The city must do some things to distinguish itself from the other ambitious Indianapolis ring cities–Fishers, Greenwood, Avon, etc. Strangely enough, projects like a carousel and a boutique hotel could make a difference. At least they’re better than Greenwood’s Big Red Rock.
Bruce Allen, Carmel