Grand Rapids, home to the Acton Institute headquarters, is frequently ranked as one of the best cities to live in America. In 2018, Headlight Data ranked the city the seventh fastest growing economy in the U.S., based on Gross Regional Product (GRP) over the previous five years. With all that going for it, ask Acton’s foundation relations coordinator Tyler Groenendal, why do the hotels need to be publicly funded?
In the face of such enormous economic impact, why is there a need for public finance? Shouldn’t private businesses be eager to build it? Evidently not.
In the words of CAA board member Charlie Secchia, “We would love for them to do it. We just don’t think it’s going to happen.”
Secchia provides a curious justification. He notes that the hotel is “a very skinny project,” and that “a developer with a rational fiscal responsibility would never, never start a project like this given the minimal return.”