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Referendum 2A in Aspen

I'm for SMART MARKETING.  I'm for smart marketing in Aspen. Vote NO on 2A.I am opposed to Referendum 2A in Aspen, the proposed 1% increase in lodging tax.  Taxing the guests is not a good solution.  I am voting NO on 2A.

I have heard all the rhetoric about the benefits of 2A. Some of our esteemed business leaders have said that the extra 1% is an “absolute necessity” to market Aspen.  I’ve heard people in power say the extra tax will “create jobs”.  I’ve been assured that our occupancy tax is “much lower” than other markets.   I’ve even reviewed the “measurable results” of Aspen’s current marketing efforts that were provided by ACRA.  I’m not impressed by any of these arguments to raise the lodging tax. 

Tourists today are more value oriented than ever before---even the super-wealthy tourists that frequent Aspen. Tacking on an extra 1% to hotel bills at the end of each guest stay might not even get noticed.  Overall occupancy costs in Aspen are already extremely high---what’s an extra 1%---right???  PRICE is the #1 objection to Aspen.

I’m most concerned about 2A because it will use public money to promote private agendas.  I’m also worried about creating a $1 million annuity via the increased tax and granting it to a marketing organization that has shown very little creativity or marketing savvy in the past.  I’m troubled about the accountability and the transparency in the use of the funds raised by 2A.  How is the money going to be spent???   Using the “same ol’ same ol’” marketing strategies won’t cut it with today’s sophisticated traveler.  

Aspen has one of the best “brand names” in tourism.  In today’s digital age, we don’t need to throw more money at marketing --we need to produce compelling campaigns with the marketing money we already have.  We need to create innovative and unique promotions that result in a call to action from prospective guests.  We need to work together as a community, forming one consistent message, to enhance and grow the unique market position that Aspen already possesses.  We need fresh ideas not another fiefdom supported by public funds.

Andrew M. Israel

Editor; AspenSpin.com

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Reader Comments (5)

As I said before this reminds me of the idiotic logic of restaurants drastically increasing their menu prices during a recession.

"We need fresh ideas not another fiefdom supported by public funds."

Well said Andy, as this is what it will inevitably turn into. And when the 1% tax doesn't work to 'strengthen the economy' in Aspen, what then? Are they going to roll back the 1% tax and admit it never worked? NO! What they're likely to do is say is 'we didn't go far enough to stimulate the economy' and now you're stuck with higher taxes there. This is totally bogus and I hope the good people have Aspen have the clarity to see through the pack of lies.

Just about every claim I've heard in CA to requisition public money for the sake of 'creating more jobs' has turned out to be total hogwash. You must have heard about the whopping 55 jobs created in LA with the $111million in stimulus funds.

It's like slapping the words 'eco-friendly' on everything from Laundry Detergent to razorblades. Everybody else is doing it =)

I know this is a dirty word in some circles but you should shoot back with a counter-proposal to hold the current powers that be in Aspen 'accountable' to it's people, with clear-cut consequences for failing their mission.

October 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTyler West

Taxing should only be for extreme conditions and at temporary bases to cover for urgent projects. On the other hand if the city needs money, take it from the visitors, ...a visit to Aspen is worth it!...

October 18, 2010 | Unregistered Commentercarloszaldivar

I agree

October 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKristi

I come to Aspen DESPITE the marketing - same with most products. Marketing always insults your intelligence - most of the time it's CUTE. Good thing about skiing Japan anyway, I can't read the stuff.

October 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterErik

I agree, maybe you should run for Mayor and show that city what creativity means!

October 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDavid Sherman

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