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Q: Has the town ever considered fencing off that area where the boys do their jumps and tricks on the culvert near Bashas'? I saw one go right into the street the other day.

A: No, the town has never considered fencing off the area, primarily because it has no authority to do so.

"It's on private property and within the state highway right of way," La Ron Garrett, Payson's public works engineer, said. "I don't expect to see anything like that happening."

Q: How much additional visitor spending will it take for the town to recoup the $75,000 it blew on tourist advertising?

A: From a sales tax revenue standpoint, a long time. The town of Payson gets to keep 2 percent of the money spent here.

But you're missing the point, Bob Ware, executive director of the Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce, said.

Because of a number of factors including the economy in general, the drought and forest fires "there was a misperception that we were out of business as a community, and we had to undo that," Ware said.

That's a process that takes time and money.

"One ad does not get you traffic," Ware said. "It's repetition."

While he's working on a report that will detail the effectiveness of the newspaper and radio campaign, he says you can see the results already.

"Have you noticed all the traffic lately? We're getting the traffic back," he said.

It's also important to understand that the campaign was designed to have a long-term impact on tourism in the Rim country.

"It's an education process," Ware said. "We have people stop in the chamber every day who say they've lived in the Valley a long time and never realized how beautiful it is up here, how easy it is to get up here. People only have so much leisure time, and think of all the places they can go. We want people to come up here on a consistent basis."

The bottom line, Ware said, is that the return on that $75,000 can't be measured in sales tax revenues alone.

"The money (tourists spend) just moves around town," he said. "A dollar is spent five, six, seven times. We need those dollars because we can't live here on our own. You and I don't make enough money."

Call 474-5251, ext. 147, to reach Roundup's What's Up? line. Leave your question on the answering machine and we'll try to find the answer.

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