Thursday, February 4th, 2010 10:01:05

Rome is Burning and No One Cares

“Rome is burning, and no one cares,” my colleague Jim exclaimed to our boss on a conference call in the late-1990s. We were trying to explain the budget crisis in our largest property, which was responsible for more than $1 billion in revenue.

Jim’s point was that no one on the ground, operating the property, cared we were in a crisis, or thought we could solve the crisis. Jim, director of partner relations, and I, director of finance, had just finished a budget-review trip to the property. The trip had started with a four-hour, cross-country flight during which Jim, located in the window seat next to me, was forced to review the two six-inch budget binders the operating company had compiled.

It’s been 13 years, and he has almost forgiven me.