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Meyers Group looking for money from the county to finish rebuilding Camino Real Hotel

Hotel Paso Del Norte renderings (Credit: Kobi Karp Architecture and Interior Design, Inc.)

The Meyers Group is seeking incentives from the county to continue rebuilding the Camino Real Hotel in downtown El Paso.

The El Paso Times reported that the group wants more help to finish the project, which was estimated to cost $70 million.

The Meyers Group has tried for more than a year and a half to get incentives from the county commissioners court. Commissioners have discussed the request five times but have not taken action.

County Commissioner Vince Perez said if the group comes back and makes another request, they’ll likely say no.

"If they've already signed a contract saying that they will build this hotel to certain specifications on a certain timeline, at a certain amount, and that's already in ink, and they've already committed to building that, coming to the county afterwards makes it look like we're giving them on behalf of the taxpayers, a gift for this project," Perez said.

Of the $70 million needed to complete the project, $32 million is already being funded by tax incentives from the city and the state.

Perez said the last time the Meyers Group requested tax incentives from the county was in 2017.

“In this particular case, it made it very difficult to justify this expenditure because the project seemed like it was well underway. It was going to be well completed with the substantial amount of funding they had already received,” Perez said.

Perez said another reason why he wouldn’t OK the incentives is because he says incentives should be given to projects that couldn’t be done without the help.

“That's not really an incentive. It's more of a subsidy to the company and I can't in good conscience vote for something like that,” he said.

Then there is also the timing issue.

Perez said the Meyers Group got the funding from the city and then the state, then got publicity for the project.

“Whenever that occurs, that puts us in a very difficult position because then if the money is requested after that, then it questions the need for additional incentives at that point,” Perez said.

We spoke with some taxpayers about giving more money to rebuild the historic hotel.

“I wouldn’t agree if it goes up on the taxpayers, so I think there has to be a good negotiation from the county and see what they really need,” Jose Manjarrez said.

Rodrigo Padilla said he doesn’t think most of the project’s money should come from taxpayers.

“I hope not a lot of my taxes are going to that because I feel like these big businesses should have a least a sizable amount of money stored away that they could be putting towards this and not taking away from taxpayers,” Padilla said.

In an interview with the El Paso Times, The Meyers Group said the project can’t be completed without incentives from the county.

We contacted the Meyers Group but they declined to comment.

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