It makes no sense to expect the lodging tax to be used only for grand projects (“Our View: This pie should be eaten whole,” April 18 Steamboat Today). That approach has an obvious flaw of creating infrastructure without consideration for the maintenance of previously funded projects and deeming only grandiose projects as being worthwhile tourism amenities.
The maintenance issue of previously funded projects can be seen in the cracked concrete and persistent large puddle earlier this year at the entrance to the Tennis Center at Steamboat Springs. That certainly detracts from its attractiveness for tourists. The operation of the Tennis Center appears to be top notch from the various state and national awards it has won. Why should maintenance of the facility allowed to become second rate when given a lower priority in the city budget? If the lodging fund helped build the Tennis Center as a tourist amenity, then why shouldn’t it consider needed maintenance projects to preserve it as a top-flight tourist amenity?
I suggest that all worthy projects be considered and be evaluated upon the beneficial impact of the project. The lodging fund should not be allowed to merely become a maintenance budget, but neither should it be precluded from any number of worthy projects, whether they be better maintenance of facilities previously funded by the lodging fund or modest projects to improve tourist amenities.
The greatest mistake would be to fund only one grand project for many years that fails to be as popular as hoped.