2A is for tourism
A group of businesses in the town of Aspen has been singled out to fund the marketing for the city through a special tax. One would expect that the owners and managers of these businesses would rant and rave in their denunciation of such a tax. However, the opposite is true. Virtually every hotel and property management firm in town has voiced their support for 2A. Think of it, the only group of people that will have to justify and charge this tax to their customers is almost unanimously in favor of the tax.
There are those who say that the town cannot afford to raise taxes and therefore the bottom line for visitors to Aspen. However, the average nightly rate paid by a visitor to Aspen has dropped far more than 1 percent since 2008. So while the tax does increase the bottom line, the cost of lodging is still much lower than it has been in past years. Also, the tax charged on a hotel room in Aspen will remain competitive with other resort towns.
Keep in mind that the majority of funds raised would go toward summer marketing. The Aspen chamber has an excellent track record of boosting the ever more crucial summer season. Almost all the marketing dollars are spent in important feeder markets, so we don’t get to see the billboards, magazine ads, sweepstakes, and web-banners. Many of the articles written about Aspen and the valley are the result ACRA’s public relations work. The ACRA website is easily the most comprehensive tool for visitors planning a vacation. Additionally, decisions on the budgeting expenditure are as open and inclusive as any money spent by the city and citizens of Aspen. The city council approves the budget for ACRA’s portion of the lodging tax in meetings that are open to the public. Furthermore, members of business community formulate the budget through the chambers BOD and marketing committee.
Perhaps even if you would not benefit from more tourism dollars, your friends, neighbors, and clients almost certainly would. While the tax affects only the cost of lodging, business throughout town will benefit from increased marketing. Tourism dollars are spent in art galleries, clothing stores, restaurants, coffee shops, and hopefully a few tip jars as well.
Vote “yes” on 2A.
Innkeeper, Annabelle Inn
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The city of Aspen’s Next Generation Advisory Board is all but defunct due to a lack of interest and participation.