Equestrian Games and Short-sightedness

Downtown Demolition

Lexington is host to the 2010 FEI World Equestrian Games. Exactly what this means, I’m not sure. Something like a horsey olympics. Folks around here seem to think it’s a big deal.

This has been the excuse for a wave of short-sightedness that is epic even for Lexington, where the City Council seems to be composed of people who can’t think past the end of the week unless someone draws pictures.

In preparation for these games, just 2 years away, they are spending a huge amount of money, and building a facility to host them. The assumption is that after the games, folks will flock from around the world to use our fabulous new facility. Of course, since Lexington doesn’t have an international airport, this seems wildly unlikely.

Additionally, and more sadly, they are building a ginormous hotel downtown to host the folks who will come for the games. So for a couple weeks, we’ll have a full hotel in Lexington, and then for the next 20 years it will be an empty eyesore. But, even sadder, they chose to tear down some of the oldest buildings in downtown lexington, and drive out some of the longest-established businesses in downtown, for this venture.

They had a city council meeting in which they asked for the people’s opinion on this. The people, unsurprisingly, were strongly opposed to it. However, the city council see this being a cash cow, and can’t think past the end of 2010. Tragic. So The Dame is no more. And the Mad Hatter is no more. And a number of other businesses that were here when my parents were in college. And for what? So that some ponies can prance about and some arab sheikhs can be comfortable for two weeks. Then what? Well, the current city council will no longer be in office, so what do they care?