Monday, November 23, 2009

Hilton Spurns MoCo, Gets Nice Reward From Ike

This goes into the category of stories that are difficult to believe without direct evidence. But once again, dear readers, we have it and then some!

Have you ever been to the annual County Executive’s Ball? Oh, dahlings, it’s oo-la-la! All the top power brokers, money men, politicians and trophy wives come out to gossip, gawk and gorge. The spread is spank-a-licious! More than once, your blogger has crashed the joint just to pocket some of the candy bars on the hallway tables. (You can never fit enough Butterfingers into a slacks pocket!)

For years, the ball was held at the Marriott Conference Center in North Bethesda. And that choice was appropriate, given the fact that Marriott is headquartered in Bethesda and is one of the county’s largest employers. But this year, County Executive Ike Leggett is moving the event to the Hilton in Rockville.

Remember Hilton? Montgomery County engaged in a heated competition with Fairfax to land Hilton’s headquarters after it announced its move out of Beverly Hills. Well… maybe it wasn’t so heated. Our offer was blown away by Fairfax and we lost – badly. The episode contributed to the departure of former Director of Economic Development Pradeep Ganguly and helped spark a revolt by County Council Members. Now, Hilton is a happy Virginia company and the County Executive is awarding them his signature event.

Here’s an idea. Can we get Bethesda-based Lockheed Martin to move out and then reward them with a police helicopter contract?