BALTIMORE (WJZ)– The deficits for the Baltimore City-owned Hilton Hotel are piling up, after another down year.
For the ninth year in a row, the business has lost millions of dollars on paper.
Many are wondering, how much more can the City take.
It was projected to generate millions of dollars and light up the City’s bottom line, but Baltimore’s Hilton Hotel hasn’t quite lived up to it’s sky high expectations.
“Yeah it’s a money pit, it really is, depreciation is ongoing,” said economist Anirban Basu of Sage Policy Group.
According to an audit obtained by WJZ , the hotel lost $5.5 million last year. It was hit similar losses in the years before.
Even more eye popping is the hotel’s unrestricted net deficit, which includes past operating losses and depreciation.
Reports show it’s now close to $85 million.
“No surprise, ninth consecutive year of losses, a lot of that due to deprecation,” Basu said.
Basu cites an outdated convention center.
“The Hilton Hotel and convention center work as best friends if the convention center is under-performing, then the convention center hotel will under-perform and we continue to see that,” he said.
Mayor Catherine Pugh is now trying to step in and refinance debt on the hotel.
To save money in the annual budget, Jeff Pillas with the BDC said the loss is only on paper.
“The hotel is cash flow positive, that’s what’s important,” Pillas said.
Pillas said even though the numbers are hard for some to soak in, the hotel still brings millions in economic impact to the City.
“That hotel is here, it brings larger conventions in, that we would otherwise not have, it’s not a failure financially,” he said.
BDC said the hotel will undergo a large renovation at the end of the year and since it’s opened, it’s brought more than $200 million in economic impact for the City.
According to the BDC the Hilton Hotel employs more than 400 people, 85 percent of whom are city residents.