What happens when the city gets involved in private business

Ask Joe Moore how he felt when he found himself competing for the health club market downtown and the city gave a half-million dollars to the YMCA to develop their new facility in the Landing project. Moore used to own Moores Nautilus in the basement of Lazarus, but swore off doing business in the city for good when tax dollars were competing with his dollars.

Ask the Wamplers, who own Hara Arena how they feel about competing with the Nutter Center.

Here we go again with Ballpark Village, now with the City talking about supporting competition for the very same YMCA they pushed into power around 15 years ago:

Dayton searching for solutions to retail success on waterfront
The city has ruled out fashion retail for the development because that type of merchandise is at regional malls.

“Fashion apparel is not the target. We’re looking at places for people to go and be entertained,” Dickstein said. That could include an upper tier fitness facility; a venue like Dave and Busters with arcade games and food; restaurants, housing and green space.

What about the restaurants in the Oregon District who have had to fight the Greene already? And the City wants to add to the pressure? Shouldn’t it be clear by now that tax incentives for business relocation puts established business on an uneven playing field.

It’s time to stop the madness now- not just locally, nationally. Tax dollars should go to infrastructure for all, health and safety services and government services- not as a way to sweeten the deal for some, while the rest of us fight for our lives.

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21 Comments on "What happens when the city gets involved in private business"

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The Nutter Center and The Greene are in different counties than Hara and THE OD.

Did not Greene County back The Greene and therefore wanted to go in direct competition with Montgomery county malls/restaurants?

The Nutter Center is a State building, no? It competes with Hara Arena but was built for WSU and only capitalizes on open dates – why not make money?

You can say tax breaks all you want, but I pay taxes and want The Nutter Center and if I lived in Greene County I would want my tax money to support that rather than a bunch a people who reproduce and can’t afford it. I like nice things, and rather give it to something that helps create jobs rather than abuses children via neglect/drugs/etc.

The Oregon District is its own worst enemy – maybe clean up the bars and the streets and then you will get foot traffic. People like CLEAN, not just new. OD and the Lone Rangers, the same people who think they should win by default. Welcome to 2008, you know the rules, now play the game.


BTW, Hara is a dump so maybe clean up that place as well.


This looks like a project in need of a program. Or market.

Bruce Kettelle

State and Greene County money paid to add ice to the Nutter in order to lure the Bombers away from Hara. Everytime a profit center like that gets pulled away it directly affects someone’s bottom line. Who will help pay to fix Hara when tax money is causing the problems. Here’s another great idea, lets build a convention center at the Airport and put on a home show, a boat show and an RV show and more (all stolen from Hara). Who will pay for that Airport facility’s repairs down the road? We will with our taxes.

So when the restaurants in the Oregon district start to look run down and close because the ballpark village is snagging their customers who will pay for that? You might ask Hara for the answer to that one.


The OD has been run down for years, so that argument is out the door. The Nutter Center was THERE, and since it was THERE they said lets attract other business, and HARA is a dump, easy move. Hara needed to step up to the plate, but bc of poor management and the fleecing from within it never reinvested in itself – kinda like your great city of NO – they killed themselves before they got killed by competition – they are their own worst enemies.

Drexel Dave

Hara Arena is undoubtedly one of the greatest live arena music venues ever.

Rolling Stone used to rank it among their best year in and year out.

Since corporatization took over the music business though, you don’t have the acts that connect with the masses like you used to.


“used to” – thank you for pointing that out. Dayton also “used to” be know for creativity and inventions, but now it is home to poor unemployed people. That is reality, and Hara “F’ed” itself like the City of Dayton, and surrounding areas capitalized on the great Dayton notion that we were here first so we deserve to win. C of D and Hara Arena also never reinvested in themselves, and have become run down and an eye sore to out-of-towners. I LOVE THE NUTTER CENTER AND THE GREENE – they are clean and have little crime. Go Suburbs – Capitalize on the Loser Leadership and Management of the City of Dayton and venues like Hara Arena – they take their money and buy fishin’ boats and never put a dime back into their places – wonder why other people thought they could do a better job. Dayton if full of dirty people with dirty businesses sense and dirty politics. New, if this case, is better.

Bruce Kettelle

New is better no doubt, well most of the time as in when preservation makes more sense.

Gene you sorely miss the point of my post. If Hara had the benefit of public taxe money to help reinvent itself it would. The problem they have experienced is not just theirs. Privately owned complexes like theirs have been run out of business all across the country by tax subsidized venues (last year the privately owned hockey arena in Toledo closed replaced by a public facility). And Hara did reinvest heavily over the years on infrastructure like hvac, roof replacement, new ice making equipment, to name a few, but when you can only do half a million a year in a big facility like that these improvements are difficult for the naked eye to see.

Now that the more profitable shows have been stolen away where will the next half a million (or more) come from?

But this post is not about Hara, they are just an example of what can be tragic results of shortsighted taxpayer subsidized economic development initiatives.

There are worthwhile publicly financed intiatives and I think 5th/3rd Field is a perfect example. But at some point you have to measure and balance the positive and negative effects of these big investments on existing private enterprises. If that means trying harder to partner with our existing private entities then lets do it.


One thing with Hara that nobody has mentioned is that it’s not the most conveinent place to get to. Nutter is right off the highway and you can get there fairly quickly from many parts of town. The same can’t be said for Hara.

All that being said, I do have fond memories of the “Carl Casper Auto Show”, “The Dayton Gems”, “The Statler Brothers” concert and taking the CPA exam at Hara. My favorite time taking the CPA exam there was the Friday afternoon that they were setting up for the Monster Truck rally. You’re concentrating on one of the most important things in your life and they’re running nitro-based trucks in the arena next door!


Hara should be eliminated – it is a dump. Tax dollars from the state to help Greene Co. build The Nut House was great and it was not illegal – they wanted their own venue and they have proven they can sell it. Hara is in a different County – so it is competition and life is tough but such is life.

I don’t get tax dollars to run my business, yet pay plenty of taxes for others to run their businesses, so what the difference? – I move forward. I guess this is a county VS county thing so it is hard to argue – Mont Co. has nada to do with The Nut House. Also remember Downtown was chosen over the Hara site to host the Dragons of Dayton – mainly bc they know that area is a dump.

Drexel Dave

does gene stand for generalization?


Does Drexel Dave live in Drexel or Dayton? Well both places fit him if you know what I mean. He champions the causes of both places!

Hara is still a dump Drex – but Daytonians are immune to crap – just look at people’s yards, OD, Wayne St, West Side, OND, North Side, East Side, – I could go on and on. Thankfully I have been exposed to some of the nicer things in life and Dayton has very few spots that qualify. Now everyone go eat their microwave burritos and have fun at the check cashing place tomorrow.

I call a spade a spade, and a DUMP a DUMP. Hara is such. If we only had Esrati elected he may have saved Dayton.

Drexel Dave

it does, it does stand for generalization!


Ok Drexy – Why is Hara Arena soooooooooo nice in your world? Is that bc you accept second rate in your life? Oh wait, Hara is seventh rate at best.

Walk down to the check cashing place now and ask them if they help your neighborhood.

Dayton is not all that nice, and has very few nice areas/things. But somehow you enjoy the run down, worn out, trash infested, lack of maintenance, unpainted, overgrown, thrift store decorated City of Dayton. That is fine if you settle for less – It is just not in me to do such. I like nicer things, well in this case in regards to Hara I just like clean things, well maintained and operating properly and professionally, but that is not our Hara now is it?

Drexel Dave

How do you know what I like gene? You’ve never even asked.


“Hara Arena is undoubtedly one of the greatest live arena music venues ever.” Your quote – so i sort of guessed you LIKED it. I don’t think that was a reach there Drexy!

On another note, with DE bringing up music, what is going on with Memorial Hall? Why can’t that be used for music? I saw a show there about 14 years ago and I really like it.

Drexel Dave

That statement was once merely based upon experience, and industry opinion. Of course, had you done your research and been knowledgeable on the subject, you would know this, gene is for generalize.

The reason Hara was a great rock and roll venue (although one of the best shows I took in there was Public Enemy during Fear of a Black Planet tour), EXACTLY because it was a dump.

There’s nothing like an old minor-league hockey rink for a rock concert. It’s why Hara was consistently voted one of the best rock and roll venues in America. Because it WAS rock and roll.

America would rather have Celine Dion now though, and probably deserves it.


So you like the place then? Then I am right, as usual, and continue to laugh at the BA East Dayton BB’s – the crew and brain power to save Dayton.

I have been there for plenty of shows and there are MANY MANY places I rather go – so I do know Drexy.

Check cashing place to your left, black t-shirts to your right, unemployment office straight ahead, pack of smokes and bitch about health care behind you, cluttered yards and dog shit all over front lawn – at your feet, above you is God, and well He shakes His head in disgust bc Daytonians care more about feeding their drug habit or robbing their neighbor or fleecing our government for SS checks or bitching and moaning about the good old Hara Arena or let their kids have kids rather than take a shower, put on nice clothes and get a job. Is this too general for you Drexy?

The point is I called it a dump and then YOU called it a dump. Geez, that GENERAL ASSUMPTION even made it pass your lips pal. Now, go put on YOUR Celine Dion and bitch about how drugs should be legal. Keep on buying them rolling papers! Do you want me to generalize more?

Drexel Dave

you are fun gene, in an Archie Bunker kinda’ way.


Drexy – YOU are fun, in an Elt’ee John kinda’ way, HEY!!!


Keep those SS checks comin’ in DAY-DONE!!!!!!