Bypass Will Hurt Businesses

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Editor:

There are times that I think that we, Payson, either have a split personality or we want to have our cake and eat it too. We experience a little congestion on summer weekends and really feel the crunch when the long holiday weekends happen. Have you ever noticed how crowded our stores are on a Friday night over the Labor Day holiday? It’s crazy. You can’t find a cart or a parking space within a hundred yards of the store.

Yet, every one of our visitors that stop at our stores is helping to create a job and paying taxes that support our parks, roads, humane society, senior center, police, fire and all sorts of government services. Every dollar spent here will multiply and become a part of our economic fitness.

For three days in October we will host a giant motorcycle rally at Green Valley Park and businesses will raffle off 12 Harley-Davidsons. In an unprecedented move, the bowl area of the park will be fenced off to allow alcohol to be served, accompanied by bands, fireworks and all sorts of activities.

Why? To bring in tourists and their money.

This week Payson will be hosting the August Rodeo and will be advertising for all we are worth to attract visitors. Every year we do all that we can to bring in businesses and people, of course, we need their money.

Our economy has always been fragile. One little bump in the road and we feel it. The only consistent economic engine that we have ever had has been tourism. Of course, we have the government jobs and the casino and hospital as well as big box stores, but in reality when you look at our sales tax, the summer months have a huge impact on our local government income, which helps all of us.

To say that we are going to attract tourists while diverting them around town seems contradictory to me. My opinion, the bypass will make for easier driving while hurting our retail businesses, I think it is mistake. We ought to capture every dollar that we can and welcome every visitor.

A rancher once commented when the odor of manure floated past our noses “smells like money to me.” Business requires customers, less people, less money.

Gordon H. Gartner

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