Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Cities can cooperate or die

Thanks for the “Gotcha” editorial of Aug. 22. You raised an issue that needed to be disclosed and addressed by a larger audience. A while back a local merchant told me, during his quitting-business sale, that 49 enterprises had closed during that year alone. The retail and service industries, once formidable attractions to our communities, are devastated.

I don’t know the particulars of the quarrel between our two towns, but it appears that the city of Sun Valley expects Ketchum and Sun Valley Co. to bear the total burden of promoting this indescribably lovely place. The valley needs to attract new money, i.e. tourist dollars, in order not only to survive but to prosper. No new money means no new growth!

To secure these ducats it takes an advertising and promotion budget. Without a united effort we might as well put up “Quitting business” signs at the entrance to our communities. The last merchant out can shut off the lights.

One of my favorite stories may be instructive here: Two people are caught in a mountain storm. There is no shelter or means of warming themselves, and they begin to sink into what could be the final sleep. But one rouses and begins to briskly rub the arms and back of the other to restore blood flow and save his life. By that action both are revitalized and survive. A recessionary storm has trapped Sun Valley-Ketchum in a downward economic slide, and both communities can be guided by the example of one fellow traveler helping another.

Some small towns are bustling with action, culture and commerce. Others are stodgie, dull and lifeless. The difference is in the mentality of the inhabitants. What’s it going to be for Ketchum-Sun Valley?

Roxanne Jensen



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