Wednesday, May 13, 2009

We Love Ya, Matty

While most people love wise-cracking sportscaster Matt Vasgersian for his outstanding work as the voice of the XFL and as the host of the International Rock Paper Scissors Championships, he also does play-by-play for the San Diego Padres and Fox's NFL coverage. In these roles, he's developed a strong distaste for St. Louis over the years. In fact, in a recent web interview for Deadspin, he had some choice words about our city - and some unsolicited advice for downtown tourism and development officials:
"I hate downtown St. Louis... build a friggin' convenience store, somewhere in downtown St. Louis. It's a bad hotel town, in fact it's a really bad hotel town..."
He also calls out the Cardinals' owners for not building anything on the Ballpark Village site, which I have no problem with whatsoever. He says that there are "one or two places to eat after the game within walking distance" of Busch Stadium, and "nothing to do around the ballpark." Valid complaints.

Vasgersian is actually complimentary to the Cardinal franchise and its fans, and says that if he had a car and could get away from the Busch Stadium area, he'd probably enjoy coming to St. Louis.

I disagree on the hotels - the Four Seasons, Westin, Renaissance and others are all quite nice. Not quite sure what he's expecting there. However, we definitely need more retail here, especially in terms of conveniences for tourists. I visited Cincinnati recently and noticed two Walgreens and two CVS stores, for example. I'm still amazed that we don't have a Walgreens downtown any more.

It's easy to get upset about comments like these, but then again, he's speaking as a visitor to our city. Maybe downtown needs to step up its game a little.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I also disagree with the hotels comment. When was the last time he stayed in downtown St. Louis.

The Four Seasons and Westin ranks among the best in their class. The Renaissance, despite money woes, is still a great hotel.

A friend of mine stays at the Chase-Park Plaza EVERYTIME he's in St. Louis for business. He has commented that it is the best hotel he's stayed at anywhere - and trust me, he travels a lot.

He said the CPP has impeccable customer service, clean rooms etc.