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Hyatt's Skywalk Donation Decision Not So Outrageous
When You Know Key Facts

The Kansas City Star, Mo.McClatchy-Tribune Regional News

Dec. 08, 2011--It would have been good public relations for the Hyatt Hotel Corp. to make a donation to the memorial planned for the 1981 collapsing-skywalks disaster. The company's decision to do otherwise didn't sit well with some Kansas Citians.

Even so, it's hard to gin up too much outrage once you know a couple of key facts.

Hyatt didn't own the hotel. It was the operator.

The Hallmark Corporate Foundation -- the philanthropic arm of the owner's parent -- has properly donated $25,000 for the memorial, planned across the street. Hallmark further pledged a second $25,000 donation.

Meanwhile, what was once the Hyatt has become the Sheraton Crown Center.

As a Hyatt executive wrote to a member of the skywalk foundation board, "We are disappointed that we will not have the opportunity to continue to operate the hotel and as such Hyatt will not be making a donation to the Skywalk Memorial."

Callous? Perhaps, but even if so, in light of Hyatt's non-ownership of the property its decision to take a pass wouldn't make it to the top of any reasonable measure of heartless corporate behavior. It's really up to the Kansas City community to make sure the memorial finally gets built.


(c)2011 The Kansas City Star (Kansas City, Mo.)

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