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Houston AstroDome

The discussion has surfaced again regarding our beloved Dome and what to do with it. Current choices are: tear it down, strip it to its frame and make it a park or convert it into a hotel and entertainment center.

My vote is to have it serve as part of Houston's entrepreneurial legacy and make it functional and profitable. Houston is already "Business Start-Up Capital of the World," so let's convert the dome into a core facility for just that: "the place to go when you're starting a business in Houston."

Currently all the business resource groups are scattered about throughout Houston and Harris County. You have to go one place to get registered and another for certification and another for counseling and still another for a loan. Get the picture? Not very efficient, is it?

In the dome, let's combine WiFi hot spots, areas for co-working, trendy cafes, start-up consultants, a big bank, a local bank or two, executive suite, brew pub, coffee shop, credit union, angel investors, lenders, a business incubator and technology accelerator and make still another portion into extended-stay residences so out-of-towners have accommodations while starting, expanding, relocating or acquiring a business in Houston; a residency business incubator, if you will - first in the world - just as the Astrodome was in its time.

The astute "powers-that-be" realize it's our small businesses that drive our economy. Let's make it easier to get a business started in Houston than any other place in the world, eh?

"Business start-up" is an industry for Houston that brings in outside money. Let's make it efficient, convenient and effective. What's your opinion? Send me an email cdkring@servicesca.org, even if it's just an "Amen, Brother."

And, perchance, should you be a business consultant, attorney, CPA, realtor, marketing company, bookkeeper, banker, insurance under-writer or any other support entity serving in-bound business clients and choose to have a presence in this vibrant entrepreneurial hub, send me that information, too, and I'll go show it to the "Dome Destiny Decision Makers." 

I sent this to the County Judge and the Harris County Commissioners. Here's the (very rapid) reply from Judge Emmett:

"Dear Mr. Kring, 

Thank you for sharing your thoughts about the future if the Astrodome.  To date, there have been many good suggestions floated but no one has been able to generate a viable revenue stream,  if no financially viable option is found, the Commissioners Court will have to decide the best course of action using Harris County tax dollars. 

As this process moves forward, please continue to share your thoughts with me.

Sincerely,
Ed Emmett
County Judge"

So, our next step in this project is gaining capital (AKA "raising money") so that the endeavor will be self-sufficient and independent of public funding, grants, gifts, donations or contributions. The concept is a "round shopping mall" with companies that provide products, services and support to Houston's Start-Up Community.

Here's how you/your company/organization can participate:

Save The Astrodome, click here.
Residency Incubator, click here.
Co-Op Office Space, click here.
Anchor Tenant, click here.
Proposal submitted to HCSCC at 11:38 AM on June 10, 2013, click here.

We're reaching out to all those in Houston who may have ideas, plans or the passion for preservation of "The Dome" for collaboration. If you are such a person (or know of someone) please send an email here or forward this link: http://www.servicesca.org/Houston_Astro_Dome.htm

Replies: "I love the idea of making the dome into a business hub. It is very forward thinking and away from the usual ideas around entertainment.  I support this and as you dig more into the details, I hope many others will also.  Debra H."

"I am absolutely awed by what you are doing to convert and preserve the Astrodome! WOW! What a concept! Hopefully you are getting many, many people behind this idea so it can go viral. Louise D."

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