Payson Has Never Been A Tourist Town

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Editor:

As long as I have lived in Payson (50 years), Payson has never been a tourist town. There has never been anything here to keep people coming back to stay for any length of time.

The mayor and the council and a few other people keep trying to compare Payson to Sedona, and there can be no comparison. Sedona has always had so much going for it and Payson, in a hundred years, could never catch up to it, so if these people are so enthralled with Sedona, why don't they move there and good riddance.

The one thing Payson had going for it were the festivals and the rodeos. Then the town moved the rodeo grounds in about 1997 and because they couldn't see fit to cover the arena and put in decent bathrooms, most things have went by the wayside. The tribe offered money for the naming rights and the town turned them down. That money would have went quite a ways toward the improvements that are needed. This has been going on for 10 years, so why hasn't something been done before now.

Now this council wants to put a 150-room hotel and a restaurant there. Thinking that this hotel can coexist with three rodeos and whatever events are held there is absurd. There is not enough parking, let alone the noise and dust that will happen, to annoy the people staying and paying mega-bucks for a room.

This council and the mayor have done a pretty good job of shutting down this town.

If you drive around and see all the houses for sale and all the empty business spaces, you can see that something needs to be done.

There are no good paying jobs here that can support a young family with children, and no housing that they can afford. So in turn they leave, which hurts the schools.

This council needs to get on the ball and figure out a new direction to bring new money here and forget the elusive tourist dollars which are not that much or permanent. The new county building complex will give a boost to the Main Street project, which it sorely needs. It would be a big plus for this town.

Marylou Haught

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