This month's research
asked meeting planners to reflect on Detroit's bankruptcy filing and whether it would affect their likelihood of bringing a meeting to the city. (For results, go here
Many respondents took the time to add additional comments, as follows.
• I was recently in Detroit, and it was hopping with lively restaurants and attractions. The climate was more upbeat than the press relays, though the reality is all too true. The surrounding suburbs seem to be thriving, which may help the inner city to come back. The financial problems as they are going to affect workers and retirees are tragic, however.
• I grew up in Detroit and remember it as a wonderful city... the Fox Theater, Boblow Island, tunnel to Canada, Hudson's, Woodward Ave., the zoo, museums, etc. Now it is not safe to be anywhere inside the city limits. I do not believe it will ever recover.
• Hard to know for certain, and unsure where to get the most accurate information on the "true" impact.
• It's a political ploy by a Republican governor. Detroit is on the rise.
• I think it's just the first of many cities that will be doing the same thing. No one knows how to balance a checkbook anymore and live within their means, starting with the U.S. government.
• I was born in Detroit, and it had already started downhill when I left back in the '70s. I am not sure if can be saved. Detroit may have put the world on wheels, but today the world is keeping the world on wheels, not Detroit.
• The extremely poor Detroit political management should have been investigated 10 years ago by a federal task force. In my opinion, President Obama did a marvelous job in fixing General Motors. However, Washington, D.C., has ignored Detroit. No one wants to live there, and why would anyone want to visit a dying city with lots of crime?
• It sucks hard that they have spent the last few decades driving this city into the ground. Between unions and poor leadership, there is plenty of blame to go around.
• Depends on how it's handled -- right now there are a lot of city workers who had counted on receiving pensions, but the city has no money to pay them what they are due.
• They should have planned better.
• I hope [bankruptcy] will be good for the city.
• It may help in the short term, but long term, it won't. I don't believe the government there will be able to change the culture that allowed this to happen.
• Terrible. It should be against the law. My concern is for the long-term city employees and retirees. What does it do to their pensions? What about city services?
• Politics always gets in the way, and so does government. Allow the people to take the city back and be responsible.
• It may be good for the city, but it will be hardest on the people least able to absorb the financial impact.
• Detroit (proper) has been a DEAD city for the last 20 years!!
• I know someone who was attending a meeting who was mugged and killed in Detroit -- it leaves an impression about a city. Also, I have a general distrust for the unions.
• Since so many cities are facing the same dilemma, whether or not they admit to it, we would be hard-pressed to come up with places to hold our meetings that are economically sound. We have to press on and support the cities and also the businesses that are needing customers the most.
• Crime is high, and guests may not wish to attend an event in a location in which they are concerned to leave the hotel.
• Detroit has a very bad reputation for crimes in the downtown area. Unfortunately, most of the remaining people living near downtown are the ones who can't leave Detroit. The police department needs to have more personnel to assist in cleaning up the city. Bankruptcy just moves Detroit lower on lists of places people want to go.
• VERY concerned about a drop in police and fire protection. I just came from this city -- sad, sad, sad.
• I am in a distressed city myself, and safety is the biggest issue. Criminals are not held in jail -- it's not good.
• Bankruptcy is likely to bring new, fresh thinking to the city as well as continue the emergence of an arts community drawn by low rents and youthful optimism.
• Opportunity to reorganize is a positive, and if we're booking 3-5 years down the road, we can keep an eye on it.
• I'm concerned about decreased staffing levels at hotels, restaurants, etc.
• Safety is a major concern. The criminal element in Detroit is probably the highest in the nation.
• Didn't want to hold meetings in Detroit before the bankruptcy; less likely to want to go now.
• I will never have a meeting there, bankruptcy or not.
• The bankruptcy is a good thing to clean up the bloated bureaucracy. It will allow Detroit to flourish.