Luxury Hotel In Downtown Worcester Is Literally The Dumbest Idea We’ve Ever Heard

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Our elected leaders do a lot of dumb things, but this latest get rick quick scam might be the dumbest of them all. According to the Worcester Business Journal, City Square is about to become home to a luxury hotel where rich people will flock to from all over, thus invigorating our economy and magically making Worcester a great place to live. I’m not even kidding, that was the plan unveiled today at yet another press conference full of suits in the McGovern Crime Family Machine in downtown Worcester. Let’s take a moment to have a good laugh over various aspects of this story…

Yes, there have been major developments in the downtown, including the razing of the defunct Worcester Common Outlets, a reinvestment in the former Telegram & Gazette building, bringing thousands of Quinsigamond Community College students and employees downtown, and the creation of the Voke Lofts in the downtown-adjacent Lincoln Plaza.

Yes, we’ve had a lot of “major developments in the downtown” since Petty took office. Just a reminder that this is what downtown Worcester Common looks like at 2:00 on a Tuesday afternoon:

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I guess these are the, “thousands of Quinsigamond Community College students and employees downtown.” Probably just taking their lunch break before investing in the local economy and heading back to their Voke luxury lofts.

These developments have set the foundation for a rebuilding of downtown, but with the selection of the AC Hotel by Marriott to be placed nearly next to the city commons, one developer has taken a step towards elevating the area up to a high-end destination, according to city insiders and officials.

The 120,000-square-foot hotel will be the city’s only full-service downtown hotel, but it adds more than meeting space and the (admittedly large and somewhat game-changing in its own right) 250-seat restaurant. It is a shot of European-style class from a brand that has been creating boutique, luxury hotels since 1998. Worcester will be the only location outside of Boston to receive one of these hotels, and it will be able to pull business clients and those seeking a unique experience from 25 miles around, said Leo H. Xarras, chairman of Colwen Hotels (a group under XSS Hotels of Hooksett, N. H. that is developing the property).

LOL. No one’s really stupid enough to believe this right? You think a luxury hotel is gonna draw rich businessmen to Worcester? Just toss a wicked nice hotel up there and the suits will flock. I don’t even know what to say that. Like, they really think that the reason people aren’t coming to Worcester to do business is because the hotels aren’t European-style? LOL. It’s just so stupid it’s fantastic!!

People want class, amenities and a downtown location, Thomas said. Inside, the rooms no longer center around a massive TV. The heated indoor pool is salt water because it’s better for the environment. An emphasis will be placed on the communal spaces, with Worcester County-sourced art creating comfortable and usable spaces designed to draw people out of their rooms.

Oh good, the hotels got rid of TV’s and replaced it with ART!!! That should fix Worcester!! Way to go Jumpin’ Joe Petty!!!

Along with all this talk of luxury and premiere comes higher price. The rooms will have a $30 to $50 premium over the current $150 to $199 high-end Worcester market, according to XSS.

Yup, they figured it out. Worcester’s problem is that we’re not charging enough for hotel rooms. So if we jack the price up to $250 a night then these addicts will leave the Worcester Common, stop doing heroin, and get real jobs as bellhops and concierges:


Because the only reason we have people openly doing heroin on the Common in broad daylight is the lack of jobs and high priced hotel rooms.

This is a market Worcester has already proven it can support, said Tim Murrary, president and CEO of the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce.

“I remember when the Sole Proprietor opened and people questioned whether they could support it and some of the high end restaurants on Shrewsbury Street. People have supported them,” Murray said. “There is a market in Central Massachusetts, and the Worcester area that is looking for high-end experiences in terms of leisure and food.”

Hey Tim, the Sole Proprietor works because there are people in Worcester with money and sometimes they like to go out to a nice dinner. Guess where they’re going after they eat? Home. Guess what they’re not doing? Getting a Goddamn $250 HOTEL ROOM!!

The next step will bring in retail to build upon the expected influx of people to both this hotel as well as the extended stay hotel and other residential locations being built near the downtown, said Michael Traynor, chief development officer for Worcester.

“We need to step up our game and particularly with the clientele we will have downtown. We need the type of amenities that cater to the type of people coming into these developments. The city will attempt to create an overall downtown strategy for the first time to capitalize on this new density and market,” Traynor said.

 Yea, the clientele in downtown Worcester is the finest in the region:


Everything Michael Traynor just said is meaningless, empty suit bullshit. How is the city going to create a “strategy” for downtown Worcester? Have these people ever been to downtown Worcester? There’s a Worcester Bling-Bling, a midtown mall, a Subway, and a welfare office. There used to be a cinema where horny old men could beat off, but apparently there wasn’t a big enough market for that. People in downtown Worcester want drugs, sandwiches, and bling-bling, and the local businesses cater to that. So what is the city gonna do? Tell all these businesses to get the fuck out of there? How exactly are they gonna do that? The Mid-Town Mall ain’t going anywhere, so what’s the plan? Oh yea, there is no plan.

Does the name Michael Traynor ring a bell? He’s the one who signed off on the $1,500 check so RBG could have his dinner and drinks paid for at the Sahara Restaurant for his poetry slams and trip to Oakland.

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Yup. A man who writes $1,500 checks for RBG poetry slams is in charge of economic development in Worcester. This is why we can’t have nice things.

Here’s my question – how is no one calling out Joe Petty and Tim Murray for being exactly what they are – the 1%. It’s literally the only people they give a shit about. Every time I see the hippies backing up Joe Petty I laugh. Joe Petty doesn’t give a fuck about poor people or people of color. At least whiny ass RBG gets it:

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He just built a luxury hotel so he can wine and dine his rich, imaginary friends from Boston. He’s been ignoring crime and poverty in this city for months because his mind has been on building this hotel that no one will ever come to. You know who would rather look at art than watch TV in their hotel room? Pretentious, upper class poopsmooches from Connecticut. That’s who Joe Petty and company care about. Michael Gaffney cares about blue collar, working class citizens who are sick of watching their tax dollars being pissed away on fraudulent non-profits like Mosaic. I’m voting for the guy who wants to improve Worcester for Worcester citizens, not the guy who wants to show off for his wealthy friends from Boston.

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34 Comment(s)
  • GoWPD
    October 28, 2015 at 10:32 pm

    One of your funniest and most true articles. ever. Back in the day when I was checking in at that other luxurious hotel that was downtown, the people in front of me were asking what is there to do downtown…the check in girl was stumped. Theres not even a McDonalds downtown! No movie theater, no shopping, unless you are in the market for some bootleg ghetto ensembles. Worcester needs another hotel like they need another strip club or dollar store.

    • Wabbitt
      October 29, 2015 at 2:04 pm

      That pizza place that’s in that little hole in the wall where McDonald’s used to be is pretty damn good though.

  • Gronkmonster
    October 28, 2015 at 6:33 pm

    HAHA you really are a dolt..Do you even know how much money it takes to run a business in this city?? Yeah start in the Woo and pay more in taxes and get nothing in return when you can go one town out and get help from the city or town that takes your tax dollars ??

    Why did Polar build the largest clear span building in the North East 10 feet from the Worcester line in Auburn instead of here in Worcester?…Because Petty and the city council laughed at him when he asked for a tax break or any sort of help to build a distribution center..But hey are you a new company that wants to move here come on in and we wont charge you any taxes for 10 years and then you can move out in year 9 like many have done…Honestly we have idiots at the wheel driving this city

    Worcester will continue to fail again and again..The only hope we have is to give someone like Gaff a chance at the wheel..If he fails he fails but we know all we do is fail with Petty..History does not lie

  • UnicornBoyeeeee
    October 27, 2015 at 10:46 pm

    Dude, the very cells in our brain were once the cells of planets, it makes us all related

  • Lincoln Street Turtle Rider
    October 27, 2015 at 10:19 pm

    Worcester is economically challenged and has monkeys running it.

  • crl
    October 27, 2015 at 6:52 pm

    Lived in skymark tower for 5 months back in 2011, it had cheap move in cost, and my gf and I were relocating from VA. Downtown Worcester can be summed up by skymark tower: people with money don’t want to live there, so they accept section 8 and get the tax breaks. Because of that, they treat people paying full price like shit.

    We didn’t stay long, too many immigrants sitting in the lobby all day and hanging out with their pitbulls out front at night.

    Fuck down downtown Worcester

    • bb
      November 18, 2015 at 5:02 pm

      When the Skymark was built, it was a luxury apartment building. Now, they accept section 8 and won’t do anything about the bums hanging out between the building and the garage. It’s unfortunate because it does have nice apartments. People on welfare have better apartments than the full cost payers.

  • Loyal reader
    October 27, 2015 at 2:58 pm

    Downtown, Worcester is where small, sick businesses go to die.

  • Publius
    October 27, 2015 at 2:47 pm

    Oh and to earlier posters. Much to my own chagrin the ice skating ring was a huge success. Huge.

  • Publius
    October 27, 2015 at 2:45 pm

    TB is a youngster. It wasn’t too long ago that downtown was an ok place. Say as early as 25-30 years or so ago. 500 jobs is a huge start. a couple of thousand jobs downtown will go a long way to pushing the trash out of the common and out of downtown.

  • Loyal reader
    October 27, 2015 at 2:17 pm

    Everyone knows that construction projects in third-world countries are just vehicles for connected businessmen and crooked politicians to profit from. Take a walk through downtown Worcester, circa 2015. It’s a third-world city minus the exotic charm.

  • Beaker13
    October 27, 2015 at 1:09 pm

    While we are on the subject of “Improvements that were supposed to turn the city around”, how many examples can we come up with? We’ve mentioned this downtown hotel, the Worcester Common and Skate rink, Worcester Common Fashion Outlets, Mayo Group housing (50 Franklin st and related properties), expansion of the Airport,and the renovation of Union Station. I’ll add one more – the renovation of the Centrum/ DCU Center/ construction of the related Convention Center. We had some really big names and events at the old Centrum, but where are the crowds ? The hockey teams had to leave due to low ticket sales. When is the last time any of you went to the convention center ? For me, it was over 15 years ago – for my graduation. …. Any more failed improvements you guys can come up with ?

    • Dm
      October 27, 2015 at 3:06 pm

      There’s all of the streetscaping in the 90s. It was supposed to attract tenants downtown and beautify the urban landscape – which as you can see failed to do so. But they seemed to have only half finished it and it remained that way ever since.

      The renovation of the Worcester Public Library. Made the front nice and beautiful – but for some stupid reason they kept the main entrance in the back of the building instead of facing the Common.

      Those big unnecessary guide signs they installed all over the city – there’s still quite a number of posts that still remain without any signage since their inception in the 90s.

      The WRTA bus hub which according to a lot of businesses around downtown, considerably dried up their clientele. Why a city as small as Worcester needed such a lavish hub is still beyond my understanding.

      • Beaker13
        October 27, 2015 at 3:37 pm

        Respectfully, I am going to slightly disagree with you on the bus hub. Yes, it really didnt need to be so lavish, but we (the city) needed a central hub for all the bus routes. Back in my undergrad days, I remember getting off the bus, crossing Main st, and cutting through the common to catch my connection. HOWEVER, I recently found myself riding the bus when my car was in the shop. Inside this brand new, shiny terminal on a Tuesday early afternoon (I work 2nd shift at Worcester Med) was about 20 people just watching TV. Customer service hides behind a glass wall, and the Charlie Card machines were both down. On my short walk to the hospital, I was asked for change at least 4 times, in full view of a prominent “NO panhandling” sign. So, yes, its nice. Its useful. But its already starting to fray at the edges.

        • Wabbitt
          October 29, 2015 at 2:02 pm

          And have fun using the bathroom – which doesn’t lock and has no stalls. Hope you’re not pee shy.

  • Young Townie
    October 27, 2015 at 12:09 pm

    This is the modus operandi of Worcester. Spend money on some stupid development that will “revitalize” the city and make it a “desirable” hot spot. I wonder if the city planners find it ironic that in order to build this latest gem, they had to tear down the Worcester Common Outlets, a space that promised to do the same for the city 25 years ago. I also thought the refurbishing of the train station was going to accomplish this? And the expansion of the Worcester Airport? And how many other countless projects that I’ve forgotten to mention.

    Man, with all of these fantastic improvements that were guaranteed to revitalize the city, Worcester must be one of the top 10 destinations in the United States!

    • Fillet o fish
      October 27, 2015 at 5:39 pm

      They all worked only to revitalize the economy of the union laborers and the pols who they kick up to.

  • gb
    October 27, 2015 at 12:03 pm

    Look at Union Station…the retail space in the garage is still empty!

  • Loyal reader
    October 27, 2015 at 11:26 am

    Oh, Lovey, where do we point the Gulfstream 5 this weekend? Palm Beach, Bar Harbor, St. Moritz, Cabo San Lucas?

    None of those, you silly goose, the beautiful people flock to Worcester now.

    • Young Townie
      October 27, 2015 at 12:11 pm

      And when they don’t start flocking here, they will tell us all they need to do is put in that long debated access road to the airport, just to make it easier to get to. After all, we will have everything in place, and just building that road will ensure our city’s greatness.

      • Fillet o fish
        October 27, 2015 at 5:37 pm

        There already IS an access road. Drive from the airport to 290 via Main St. Webster St. and Hope Ave. Even in the AM rush it takes less than 5 minutes. Was even quicker before the in that stupid “roundabout”. But a billion dollar road sounds too good to pass up building.

  • Beaker13
    October 27, 2015 at 11:15 am

    As my gramma used to say — “You can’t shine a shit.” Anyway, I want to believe in Worcester. I do. But every time someone tries to “revitilize” downtown, it lasts for a little while, but then goes to shit. The rundown Galleria became the Common Outlets, which became a ghost town that got torn down. 50 Franklin St went from low income housing, to “yuppie luxury”, and now is section 8 city and a murder site. The revamping of the Common itself, with the inclusion of a skating rink, costs how much ? And yet the rink is only open 8 hours a week for two months a year ? (weekends in Jan and Feb). And who can afford the twenty five dollar deposit to rent skates ?

  • loyal reader
    October 27, 2015 at 9:55 am

    I can’t wait to sip a very, very dry Rob Roy in the new hotel’s bar whilst my polo ponies are being massaged in the VIP stable.

  • Dm
    October 27, 2015 at 9:53 am

    Reminds me of all of the ‘investments’ made in downtown in the 90s that was supposed to revitalize it. Remember all the talk about the golden triangle of the Medical City, Convention center, and the newly renovated Galleria? Or how Union Station was going to attract new retail tenants? All of the money (a chunk of which was taxpayer money) spent and now downtown is rattier than ever. It’s why I don’t have any confidence when they talk about a new massive downtown project. Just more of the same old song and dance.

  • Haha
    October 27, 2015 at 6:43 am

    All this article says is “blah blah blah Petty said this was good so it must not be”. Yup, terrible idea for a business to invest in the city. Keep your money, so TBS can complain about how we have none.

  • Fillet o fish
    October 27, 2015 at 6:41 am

    “What are they gonna tell these businesses to leave?” Yes, that would be a great idea. Close the Mid Town Mall, the Bling Bling and do a Rudy Guilani on the derelicts. Yes, get the F out of OUR city gangbangers/ drug dealers. Who do you think the clientele IS in our other hotels? Who rents a room in Worcester on a Tuesday night, and parks thier Escallade out front? Hmmmm?

  • Turtle rider
    October 27, 2015 at 6:33 am

    About 300 of those 500 UMass jobs are current employees who’s offices are just being moved downtown. The other roughly 200 are new IS hires for the new computer system implementation. Who I’m sure were hired because they had the beat skill set for the job, RBG ,regardless of the color of their skin or where they live!

  • Anna Conda
    October 27, 2015 at 6:11 am

    Just like the “high end condo” building across from the RMV has some owners but is now also Section 8 housing, this “high end hotel” will most likely become “temporary” shelter in place for the homeless. It’s happened in Shrewsbury, Marlborough and here in Worcester already.
    Do you all remember the story in the T&G about the refugee family with 6 or 7 kids that came here..we put them up in a hotel on our tax money, feed them, send the kids to school and cover all medical expenses? What did they do? Did dad get a job? No, they had SEVERAL more kids! That is what will happen to this hotel when they can’t fill the rooms on a regular basis…Guaranteed Money!

    • Wtf
      October 27, 2015 at 7:20 am

      I was just going to write this.

      As soon as this new hotel tanks it will become ‘affordable housing’ (section 8) just like 600 main st did.

      Then the fine people that hang out on the common won’t have far to go to boot up.

  • WTF...Worcestee
    October 27, 2015 at 5:39 am

    Ummm.. CUC is against UMASS moving downtown? That’s what I got out of this. Maybe CUC needs to do it’s research before slamming the largest employer in Worcester.

    Oh and the hotel idea is dumb! We had a Marriott, MCPHS bought it! We have a Hilton, isn’t that enough?

  • nick
    October 27, 2015 at 5:28 am

    What is the matter with a luxury hotel? Tourists will come in flocks to see the common & the mid town mall! Look at the economy. Of course, if there are some DCU events it may draw down the other hotels in the area so one wins while the other looses. Think of the boon to all the low lifes that hang downtown at night while the “convention attendees” are within walking distance to the DCU!

    While it may make sense let’s not over dramatize it as Worcester Political Hacks tend to do;

    Occupancy rates at Worcester hotels jumped to 75.9 percent in 2011, up from 64.8 percent in 2010, according to data supplied to Destination Worcester by the travel research firm STR. Last year, the occupancy rate was largely unchanged at 76.2 percent. The average daily room rate of $117.47 at Worcester hotels last year was up 5 percent from 2011 after jumping 4.7 from 2010, STR reported.

  • BobnMic
    October 27, 2015 at 12:06 am

    Where is this proposed site in downtown planned to be located at? Is it a renovated 50 Franklin for example or a demolished building somewhere in the area with a new structure?

  • Realist
    October 26, 2015 at 11:14 pm

    Although I do enjoy some of your articles/observations on this site, it is becoming a little too political. Your unabashed loyalty to some seem to have tarnished your credibility. Stick to the bread and butter, and leave the PAC BS out of it.

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