Fight over multipurpose facility location could affect future business in El Paso

Union Plaza protest over demolition of buildings. (CBS4/KFOX14)

The downtown arena is one of the most heated debates in the Sun City.

Clashes in City Hall, intense debate, protests and marches have been a major focus for El Paso for the last two weeks.

Local business leaders say they're concerned about what it does for the city's image.

"Let's not have companies that are looking at us on television today feel that we are nothing but a joke,” Dan Olivas, president of the El Paso Greater Association of Realtors, said. “That's not good for any of us."

"There's a very real possibility that companies may view the way things went yesterday, which was pretty close to out of control, as a negative for them and may not elect to further consider our community for relocation,” Richard Dayoub, CEO & president of the El Paso Greater Chamber of Commerce, said.

Dayoub has been the CEO and president of the chamber for a decade. He says projects like the downtown arena could help bring future business to el Paso.

"The Borderplex or the mayor says to a company, 'Look at what we are doing in our community,'” Dayoub said, “That's another arrow in the quiver; another plus to show companies, to those organizations that are considering other communities as well."

The city is in the bidding process for a major deal with Amazon. Mayor Dee Margo knows companies are watching what's happening in El Paso.

"Yeah! Anything that goes on here, good, bad or otherwise is reflected in the perception of our community and the personification of that,” Margo said.

Dayoub adds a city’s perception can add in the decision process for companies.

"Especially when they narrow down to the final two or three cities. that can make all the difference in the world when it comes to recruiting that company,” Dayoub said.

Dayoub told CBS4 it's not just the arena that could bring more business to El Paso. He says all of the big projects from the 2012 bond could attract companies to make a move here.

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