Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Is Tourism Board Wagging the Dog?

31 new tennis courts for Florence? Unneeded? Asymetrical? A boondoggle?

No matter what you may think of the proposed 31 tennis court complex, here are some facts:

* If the tennis court complex were a house, it would be called a "spec." These courts are not primarily for citizens of Florence or the Shoals area, but for desired tournaments, etc., that would increase tourism in the area.

* Our sources tell us that three, if not four, of the Florence city council are set to vote no on the project.

* In October 2016, the tourism board told the city council that plans for the proposed complex had already been drawn up by an unnamed architect. Presumably the board paid the architect with money from lodging tax.

* Local hoteliers are opposed to increasing the lodging tax. Initial increase was projected at 5%, but is now stated to be 3%.

* Many think, perhaps mistakenly so, that the job of tourism workers is to promote what's already here, not to build more to bring in the real or imagined numbers who are dying to flock to the Shoals whether they know it or not. 

Our conclusions? When we first heard of the proposed complex, we favored it. We did not know at that time it would be so large (we had assumed 10 to 12 courts), nor did we know it would displace ball fields in the eastern part of the city.

Now we have our own serious doubts about the project, not the least of which are based on the tourism board's seeming desperation to ram the complex down the throat of the City of Florence.

1 comment:

  1. Are there really that many people around who tennis? Go and take a poll. Out of 100 folks between 15 and 50....I doubt if more than 8-percent have ever played the game, and only 3-percent who might play once or twice a month.