City News Roundup

Amazon saves us some heartache and more Dallas city news

Amazon saves us some heartache and more Dallas city news

Amazon, come on, what's not to love? Courtesy photo

Amazon may have snubbed Dallas but that's okay because tourism in Dallas is up. Other people like us. Meanwhile, a Dallas seat for the Texas House of Representatives is undergoing a recount following the midterm election on November 6.

Here's what happened in Dallas this week:

Amazon out
Amazon swiped left on Dallas this week, and the brouhaha is finally over. The company announced that it will split its second headquarters between New York City and Arlington, Virginia, ending a 15-month spectacle that played out like a reality TV show for cities.

Big D was among the final three sites under consideration. After the announcement, city hall released its pitch for HQ2, and, boy what a pitch it was.

Dallas officials offered Amazon more than $600 million in incentives and tax breaks to erect a behemoth tower park south of City Hall in what was pitched as the Day 1 District.

If Amazon chose Dallas, its employees would get free pets from Dallas Animal Services, membership to the city zoo and Arboretum, pedicabs, and $1.5 million in other express transportation options for the office park.

That's not all: Dallas also offered 2,000 free nights at the Omni Hotel and free meeting space at facilities all over the city, including the convention center and Trinity Forest Golf Club.

The city would have ponied up $25 million for a new Amazon hangar at Dallas Executive Airport and built a helipad.

Then, a new Amazon Go Team would have been created to go snipping away at red tape for permits or practically anything else Amazon would want.

With no HQ2, that's all just daydreams now.

Tourism up
Tourism in Dallas had a record-setting year in 2017, according to VisitDallas, the city's tourism bureau.

In 2017, 7.2 million people visited Dallas, spending $4.7 billion and giving an economic impact of $8 billion, according to VisitDallas, the city’s tourism bureau.

The top events that brought the most hotel stays were athletic competitions, leading with the National Football League draft and the Red River Showdown. There were three non-sports events: Mary Kay's summer seminars, the National Rifle Association's conference, and Market Hall's home and gift market.

The number of visitors Dallas has increased by about 13 percent since 2013.

Election recount
Candidate Joanna Cattanach hasn't given up her fight to represent the 108th state congressional district.

She ran against State Rep. Morgan Meyer, R-Dallas, who currently leads over Democratic challenger Cattanach by 221 votes, according to unofficial results. Meyer has claimed victory in the race.

But on November 14, Cattanach asked for a recount.

"As of Tuesday, the vote differential in this race is 221 as compared to 440 on election night. That amounts to 0.28 percentage difference," she said.

Nassar lawsuit
Former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar, who was sentenced on November 15 to 175 years in prison in his sexual abuse case, is facing another lawsuit from a former athlete.

Dallas gymnast Kennedy Baker filed a lawsuit on November 14, alleging that USA Gymnastic and the U.S. Olympic Committee failed to prevent Nassar's sexual abuse.

"In my final chapter of my gymnastics career, I am coming forward to share my story of abuse," Baker tweeted. "Inspired by the strong women who have come before me, I stand ready to help enact a culture change at @USAGym & @TeamUSA. We will not be silenced."

Nassar is already serving 60 years in federal prison for child pornography charges.