Vote yes for 2A

Dear Editor:

Ten years ago Aspen passed the current lodging tax of 1 percent, half of which supports RFTA while the other half goes to the destination marketing fund, which is managed by the Aspen chamber.

The primary focus of these funds is to promote Aspen in the spring, summer and fall. On the ballot this November is referendum 2A, which increases the current lodging tax by 1 percent for additional special events and marketing for the Aspen community.

Over the past 10 years the chamber has been very effective at promoting Aspen with a comparatively small budget. The time has come to expand these marketing efforts. The additional funds generated through this initiative will improve Aspen’s ability to compete as a destination in this challenging economic climate. While Aspen enjoys a very loyal following, we need to develop new customers as well.

Ensuring Aspen’s tourism remains strong and successful supports our entire community. Aspen’s tourism occupancy improved this summer over last summer in part due to increased marketing efforts made possible by the city of Aspen’s contribution to the destination marketing fund. While the improvement is a good step in the right direction, it is certainly not a restoration of the business Aspen needs as evidenced by the vacant store fronts. We need to build on this momentum and continue the efforts that have been started to support business vitality in our community.

Please support the increased lodging tax and vote Yes for 2A.

Donnie Lee

general manager, The Gant