Chamber aids our progress
The city of Ketchum isnít alone in the
necessity of tightening its budget belt. The city council has targeted $60,000
for trimming to allow for staff raises.
But it would be a penny-wise,
pound-foolish decision if the city refused to increase the Sun Valley-Ketchum
Chamber and Visitors Bureauís budget by a requested $20,000.
The chamber is the cityís official
marketing arm, responsible for generating visitor traffic, which in turn
contributes handsomely to the cityís local option tax.
Since LOT revenues have increased and
shown a healthy upward trend since the post-9/11 economic slump, now is no time
to withhold the essential fuel that fires the marketing engine that drives so
much of the cityís economic intake.
Furthermore, the chamber already faces a
penalty not of its choosing: It must find a new location for the visitors center
at a cost of $15,000 per year or more, now that the city has agreed to vacate
the chamberís Town Center site on Main Street in a land swap with Wells Fargo
The city of Sun Valley has committed a
$22,000 increase as part of its share for the 2005 fiscal year. Ketchum has an
equivalent obligation to be no less responsible.
The Sun Valley-Ketchum area faces stiff
competition from other resorts. A reasonable chamber budget will go a long way
toward keeping our name in the public eye.