Payson Needs To Focus On Growing Its Tourism Based Economy

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Editor:

Congratulations to all of you who were responsible for organizing the women's fast pitch softball tournament here June 23 through June 25. The event brought 40 ball clubs to Payson with all of the players' friends and families. This is just the type of activity that we need here on a regular basis to support our businesses and our local economy.

With the rodeo, the car show, the various running events, the quilt show and others, Payson is putting its best foot forward and advertising its beautiful location and wonderful climate. What better place to hold a tournament than here in Payson in June?

And, it is good for the whole town. Tourism is our industry and we need to make it grow. What other activities are out there that can be organized into a show, and event or a tournament.

At the same time we need to look at our natural assets that can be developed, like hiking. We already have many visitors coming to Payson to hike, but the numbers are small compared with what it could be. In order for Payson to become a "hiking center," the information, trails and signage need to be organized and developed as it has been done in Sedona and at other locations.

Right now, there is a large group of volunteers working to organize a half marathon for Habitat for Humanity. This event will take place in October and will attract a much larger group of runners than they have for the 5K.

The half marathon is an event that will grow each year, because Payson offers the perfect venue, at altitude, with a great climate. I am sure that there are many other things that are being done, events that are being organized and opportunities that can be pursued. What is your idea? We need everyone to get involved and then participate when asked to volunteer.

John Zilisch

Payson

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