My Two Census

Formerly the non-partisan watchdog of the 2010 US Census, and currently an opinion blog that covers all things political, media, foreign policy, globalization, and culture…but sometimes returning to its census/demographics roots.

A Cohort Of Census Bureau Officials Stay At The Ritz Carlton…On Your Dime!


At least one local purchaser of distressed commercial real estate tells the columnist that a St. Louis Chrysler plant will be hitting the market any edition. Broker? DESCO says the tipster. . .Which three additional local banks are this close to takeovers?. . .Taking a census at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Clayton, an insider noted that a party of 15 from the U.S. Census Bureau stayed there – not even in the City of St. Louis, where Missouri’s Census of Schools was launched by the bureau’s director Dr. Robert Groves.

Are we going to have to file a Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) request to find out whether this is true? Hopefully not, as we just inquired about this with the Census Bureau’s Public Information Office. To be fair, the Census Bureau could have negotiated a pretty hefty corporate discount at The Ritz, particularly because it’s doubtful that the place is swirling with customers in this economy. But as one GOP insider said to us, “No wonder their budget’s out of control!”

UPDATE: Dr. Groves did NOT stay at the Ritz. And the other government officials stayed there for $110 per night (government rate). Case closed. (See below for the official Census Bureau response!)


Dr. Groves did not spend the night. He flew into St. Louis for the day to
participate in a Census-in-Schools event with Subcommittee Chairman Lacy
Clay and officials from the City of St. Louis. Three Census Bureau staff
members from Headquarters and nine from the Kansas City Region were in town
to support this event, which required a lot of preparation and received
national and local press coverage. Staff also were involved in operational
and partnership activities involving the Director and Chairman Clay. This
is an area that had a low mail response rate in 2000, so extra efforts by
regional staff are critical to improve the response rate and decrease the
undercount. Census Bureau staff stayed at the Ritz-Carlton because it is
centrally located and offers the government rate of $110 per night.

Burton H. Reist
Assistant to the Associate Director
Communications Directorate

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5 Responses to “A Cohort Of Census Bureau Officials Stay At The Ritz Carlton…On Your Dime!”

  1. TechGuy Says:

    If this is true, then they paid the Government rate, which is going to be the same whether or not its the Ritz, Motel 6, Holiday Inn, or Ma Kettle’s B&B.

    Anyone on official govt. business will get the hotel at the same rate, mandated by the Federal Govt. every year. So if they were there on the govts dime, they paid the same there as anywhere else they could have stayed.

    If they paid themselves, who cares?

  2. Ex-IT Says:

    Was the source of that story the “GOP insider”? And it turned out to be bogus? Why would anybody be surprised?

  3. My Two Census » Blog Archive » The Census Bureau wastes your tax dollars by shifting workers around the country… Says:

    [...] heard that Hilton Hotels are being used for this purpose — which isn’t surprising since Census Bureau officials are known to stay at Ritz Carleton Hotels while on government [...]

  4. My Two Census » Blog Archive » Freedom of Information? Hardly. Access denied! Says:

    [...] months ago, after I received credible reports that Census Bureau employees were staying at Ritz Carleton hotels while on official biz, I wanted to know the extent of such spending sprees. I filed a Freedom of [...]

  5. Monster Beats Says:

    I consider that may well be an enchanting element, it manufactured me assume a tad. Thanks for sparking my thinking cap. On occasion I get much inside of a rut that I just feel just like a record.