Erin Dickerson: Tourism growth is overwhelming
I am writing, as I know many others have recently, to complain about the growth of tourism in our town. I have lived here for 15 years and am appalled at the over-the-top number of events brought to our small town in the last couple of summers.
I understand that there is a fine balance between supporting our local economy and overwhelming it. I would say we are far beyond the latter this summer.
As a local, I now try to spend my weekends camped out at my home to avoid the craziness that has become our town every weekend. You cannot get into any restaurant, find a place to park, go grocery shopping or even drive across town without being caught up in it.
Our local parks, rivers and trails are overwhelmed as they cannot accommodate the number of people filtering into our town for all the ridiculous festivals and events.
I find it oddly amusing that the city has made such a big deal about the lack of trash service after the abundance of trash over Fourth of July weekend. I mean seriously? Don’t you realize this is a clue.
We have pushed the limits. We have created a monster that can no longer sustain itself. And at what cost? To fill every room every weekend? So that our service industry is strained and must try to hire more employees who will need more housing that we clearly don’t have?
Let’s review our future plans and give thought to how we want this town to read. Maybe we don’t need a dog and pony show every weekend.
Maybe it’s OK to have a weekend that does not have a themed event. Maybe we should strive for a balance that keeps our town beautiful and enjoyable for tourists and locals alike.
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