The Sublette County Journal
Volume 5, Number 7 - 10/12/00
brought to you online by Pinedale Online
Letters This Week
Letters to the Editor
We Appreciate You
Raising children is anything but dull. For those of us who choose to have kids, it is one of the most important "Jobs " we will ever do-a " fragile-handle with care! " type ; the joys are deep, but not without bruising along the way... It's this journey that we wouldn't miss for anything .
When it comes to kids, bearing them is simple . . . At least compared with treating their fevers, wiping their tears, keeping the refrigerator full, paying the bills, providing the taxi, nurturing their souls and guiding them in a way we will both be proud of... ( ad infinitum ).
And, when a potentially life-threatening injury occurs to one of our children, it affects every aspect of our lives.
Since our daughter, Whitney, was injured in September, we have experienced a great reminder of the value of family and faith. We have been humbled and awed at the healing process that will be occurring for a long time. And, we (once again) are so grateful for such a caring community, that lends support at every turn.
We appreciate all of you who have extended a helping hand to our family through this tough time. We will all be better because of it.
With sincere thanks,
Lodging Tax Benefits
The funds generated by 3 percent lodging tax are extremely important in promoting the area and stimulating growth in tourism, with the resulting increase in income to local merchants. It is estimated that a family will spend an average of $215 per day in an area.
Lodging tax funds are returned to the community to generate more money by supporting a variety of events, thus increasing the quality of life for the entire community. These funds can be used to bring events into the area which are otherwise difficult to attract.
Events made possible by lodging tax funds can range from hockey tournaments and other sporting events, conventions, and exhibits, to maps, billboards, convention packets, and brochures are also made possible by the tax.
By advertising local events to potential tourists to the area, the lodging tax saves on promotion costs for individual merchants. Thus an individual merchant benefits two ways; advertising budgets go further and tourism provides greater income to the area.
More Bed Tax Support
I am writing in support of the proposed lodging tax before Sublette County residents next month. As a Bed and Breakfast business owner, I would like to respond to a few of the criticisms presented against the lodging tax.
First, it has been suggested that it is unfair that only the lodging industry collects the tax when everyone in town stands to benefit from visitors. I don't see this issue as a " we (lodging) vs. them (other businesses) " issue. Yes, the tax I collect from visitors that is used to promote the community and bring more visitors will benefit the restaurants, shops and gas stations in town. And they help me. A great deal of my business comes from gas station attendants recommending a place to stay in town, or shops suggesting they come by my place, or restaurant owners calling me for room for guests who are tired and decided not to drive further on their travels. In turn, I then recommend these places to my guests. Aren't we all in this together? Trying to make a living in a community with a very short tourist season? Many of our businesses wouldn't survive without tourists. I feel strongly that when one business benefits, we all can .
I would also like to address how these funds can be used. Yes, some of the funds are to be used to promote the area to help the many tourist-dependent businesses in the community. It is also important to note that community organizations stand to benefit from these funds. An organization such as 4-H, the snowmobile club, and hockey teams, the ice skaters, etc., could apply for these funds to help promote their events. We probably all would appreciate this, and not be hit up so often for donations. How nice it would be for a tax, not paid by us , to help pay for our community events!
Yes to Bed Tax
Anyone who is afraid that voting in favor of passing the upcoming lodging tax means it will change Pinedale forever, don't worry. The lodging tax won't do that. Those changes are already happening and there is no turning back. Pinedale has a new ski resort, we have the Continental Divide Snowmobile Trail which runs right through town, we have Rendezvous and the Sled Dog Races. We have new motels moving in, a new entertainment complex with movie theaters, a bowling alley and convention facilities. We have folks talking about building another grocery store, remodelling the mall, and upgrading the hockey rink. The airport has been remodelled to handle more traffic. The Wind River Mountains receive thousands of visitors every year. There are zero available rental properties in the county, indicating a thriving demand for housing here. Property in Sublette County is being snapped up by wealthy people who can make many further changes in the county. The reality is the changes are already happening.
The proposed lodging tax will provide money for Sublette County to advertise what we are already advertising, only allow us to do it much better. The people who are coming here to attend our events will be helping to support the advertising for them, instead of local businesses and individuals carrying that burden entirely themselves. What business isn't asked almost every week, if not every day, for money from someone to fund something or donate for some cause? There are a lot of businesses in the county who struggle to survive the 9 months of winter on what they bring in over the 3 months of summer. Having more business come in over those long winter months would really help those businesses who are struggling now. Better advertising and more winter income would make a world of difference to help make many of our local businesses healthier. The majority of people who stay in our lodging establishments in the county won't care about this tax. It will be a bargain compared to lodging taxes in other places.
This lodging tax is probably the best source of funding we will ever have to create quality advertising for community events in Sublette County. This isn't a forever tax either. If voters decide it isn't living up to its promise, they can vote it down in 4 years. Local businesses and event coordinators, if you could use a boost to your winter revenues or help with advertising your events, you should be writing loud and clear Letters to the Editor now telling the voters of Sublette County, "We need the business this advertising money can bring us!! VOTE YES!" You restaurants, motels, and tourist-oriented businesses should speak up now to let your feelings be known so the voters in the county can make an informed decision on your behalf. If you say you want and need more business to survive, the voters will pass this tax to get the advertising dollars to help you. If you remain silent, the tax will probably fail and you will be telling the local Chamber of Commerce you really aren't struggling and don't need their help promoting your business and directing more traffic into your front doors.
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