A lesson for Pinehurst government in Raleigh


The Village of Pinehurst government is aggressively promoting the idea of downtown revitalization.  They’ve paid for a study of the idea of building a performing arts center.  They’ve obtained grants to help a brewery renovate a historic building in the downtown area.  Now, the village government is exploring the idea of incentives for new businesses to open up in the historic downtown area.

The John Locke Foundation reported yesterday on the fallout from Raleigh city government’s attempt to actively revitalize their downtown:

It’s been nearly a week since the Triangle Business Journal reported that The Mint, a taxpayer subsidized eatery in downtown Raleigh, will close.  And we are still waiting for the two largest media outlets in the area – WRAL and the News & Observer – to say something about it.  Feels like a media blackout to me.

This is no ordinary restaurant failure.  It was one of the centerpieces of former Raleigh mayor Charles Meeker’s effort to “revitalize” Fayetteville Street.  Meeker and his allies in Raleigh city government gave The Mint every possible advantage – from a $1 million subsidy to reductions in rent.

Government has NEVER been very good at picking winners and losers.  (Never mind that it shouldn’t even be in THAT business.)  But, hey, placing bets is a lot of fun — especially when the money is coming out of SOMEONE ELSE’S WALLET.