Last one out turn off the lights.

     The headline is probably a little stark but the fact is that the Tucson area sorely lacks for leadership. Rio Nuevo has failed year after year to yield any appreciable results. Bruce Ash has a radio ad this week covering the mess. Bruce and John C. Scott were also on last week’s Inside Track lamenting the total lack of progress in the Tucson area.

     It looks like spring training is on its way out of town and now there is some talk of the Gem and Mineral Show leaving the Tucson area. I could not confirm that the gem show might go somewhere else but it would be a huge blow to the area if they left town. Spring training is a nice boost but not uniquely Tucson. Losing the long-running gem show would be a crushing blow to Tucson’s economy and psyche. Add this to the school closings in Tucson Unified and it makes for a sad time in the Old Pueblo.

     If it ever happens that the gem show and spring training leave town one of signature events left in the Tucson area would be the Accenture golf tournament in Dove Mountain. That event is actually in Marana. Speaking of Marana, if they build a nice baseball facility on the western edge of the town it would be about a 1 hour drive to spring training facilties on the eastern edge of the Phoenix area.

Update: The Arizona Daily Star has an article about declining enrolment at TUSD. The district’s solution? An ad campaign for $25,000. Wouldn’t that be better used toward the salary of a full-time math teacher?

Hat tip to Espresso Pundit. The article was written by a journalism student from the U of A.


  1. We’re losing the baseball, and as you write, the last nail is not in the coffin regarding the gem show, but the coffin has been built, the nails are next to it, and the hammer is resting against the side of the box.

    To say that the leadership of the gem show, the real decision makers, were less than impressed with the last experience is an understatement. They were furious. Yes, we had the traffic problems and other fiascos, but that is not what enrages people.

    What enrages people is the utter lack of communication, coordination, preparation, due respect. The show was given no warning of the traffic detours to anticipate, etc..

    At the reception where protocol is to greet the gem show leadership, schmooze, acknowledge their contribution, etc., Tucson leadership BARELY SHOWED UP. It’s not that they expected us to grovel and kiss ass, but a certain respect for something that generates $100’s of millions is appropriate.

    They had the experience of being utterly dissed and are seriously considering other locations.

    Those interested in material like this should follow my blog. Our economic development organization is not only entirely inept, it is dishonest.

    The self-glorifying “clothfest” they held last month was an embarrassing waste of time. Those that attended found it painful to watch.

    This is a non-partisan issue where the well meaning and adept (including Bruce Ash) have to square off against slime (Joe Snell and the 10th floor connected band of do nothing goons).

  2. Outstanding post Josey.

    Well, the no-growthers are finally getting their way. Between the NIMBYs micromanaging every large and small move by anyone in the region. Government micromanaging every good idea into a certain death. Everyone has a role in the failure.

    Case in point of micromanagment of a good idea: Nimbus move downtown. Maybe it was a good move, maybe it was a bad business idea. Government will claim they are protecting Tuscon from what they claim was a half baked business plan. Maybe, maybe not but Nimbus is doing just fine thanks with a huge following. Better than the restaurant they propped up at the Museum of Art after they chased Janos, the gem of downtown, out and the restaurant they propped up at the train depot that went el foldo. Nimbus would have been a great add to downtown but instead of trying to figure out how the deal could work, they figured out a way to justify why it wouldn’t work…then worked to get someone else in on Jim Counts good idea.

    The resentment from what happened to the Barrio when TCC went in has not dimmed one nit in 30+ years and the sensitivity and leftover resentment that preloads any dialogue with downtown will doom any ideas for major projects for many years to come.

    The Downtown development director has already recalibrated expectation by talking about several small projects vice one big project. Don’t know how this justifies continuation of the TIF. Maybe they’ll raise sales taxes 1/2 cent since that seems to be the magic bullet for everything and unfortunately the voters seem to roll over every time on that.

    Somewhere in his prose, X4MR has a point and it’s in the power of communication and coordination.

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