The saga of the Palacio de Congressos started over a decade ago in 2003. When the contract was awarded 2 years later in 2005 the total cost was put at 60 million euros and the completion time 30 months. This was in the epoch of rampant corruption so we could expect some price increase but not nearly tripling to 160 million - a bit greedy even for our politicians. The quadrupling of the project timing now at 10 years and still not finished leaves little confidence if the town hall gets its claws into any other project.
Back in August 2014 I was so sure that year end completion date would not be met I offered MDB readers a bet at 10/1. There were no takers so I lengthened the odds to 20/1 and still no take up, obviously your readers have more business savvy than our Town Hall.
We are now assured that it will be operating this year but back in July 2012 your correspondent Gerry Mulligan pointed out another hurdle which has still not been surmounted – who will pay to operate it? He cogently argued that another conference centre was not necessary and he listed some of the existing alternatives many better positioned than being next to a motorway which you have to cross to reach an indifferent beach. Another friend of mine who has arranged conferences for UK companies in Majorca says the Palma Convention Centre and hotel will struggle to compete especially as many delegates come for some days holiday before their conference begins and its location is not as convenient as the competition. Using similar logic a significant boost to winter tourism is unlikely – summer congresses will be preferred so don’t count either on increased budget for off season flights to cater for these business class fliers.
Unfortunately I see the Palacio morphing from a White Elephant to a dead Albatross hanging around the financial neck of the Ajuntamento.
The deadline for management proposals is this Tuesday. I’ll keep my fingers crossed.
Playa de Palma