Offended by the ‘tourist tax’ | AspenTimes.com

Offended by the ‘tourist tax’

Dear Editor:

As a yearly visitor to Aspen for many years and a reader of this paper regularly I was surprised and disappointed to see such great support for a “tourist tax” increase of 1 percent to help market this great town to other tourists.

It seems somewhat backwards that the very people that are already attracted to visit Aspen would now have to spend more money for that visit. As a visitor I already know I am paying a premium for the pleasure of what Aspen offers, and since I visit regularly I already know it is the value, not the price, that makes my vacation attractive year after year. I am offended that instead of the people who benefit by the tourist business thinking about and appreciating the guests that are already coming and making it as reasonable as possible, they want to tax us even more.

The hotel owners (and others in the tourist industry) are trying to shift a necessary cost of doing business to the customers directly, instead of seeing that another tax to the visitors just turns off visitors, and those cost-conscious visitors will look at less tax-costly destinations. The logic that Aspen has a lower tourist tax than other resorts should not be the rationale behind raising it to the others’ already annoying level.

The people who profit by my spending should invest in reasons for me and others to spend more in their stores, restaurants and hotels without a tax increase. Don’t be so obvious that you’re really just out for our money to decrease your expenses. I can’t imagine me “taxing” my patients to see me so I can use the money to expand my practice, which will make it more difficult ultimately for them to see me. I’ll visit and eat your food in town, but please, you eat the tax. Let it snow.

Bob Wishnoff

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