Wednesday, October 31, 2012

LOT is a game changer for valley

It’s election season and finally we have an opportunity at our local level to be in control of our own economic destiny. We must pass overwhelmingly the ballot issue to increase our local-option tax in the towns of Hailey, Ketchum and in Sun Valley on Nov. 6. Never before have we had such a concerted and dedicated effort to make our local economy have a chance to level the playing field and compete on a national level with our destination resort competitors.

The increase in the local-option tax will enable the Fly Sun Valley Alliance to significantly enhance our minimum revenue guarantee program. This game-changing event will allow us to directly attack one of our most formidable economic obstacles and issues: access. For years, the perceived and real lack of ease and certainty to travel here have been the biggest deterrent to our tourist-based economy. Our loss of 40 percent of our prior airline seat capacity in the last several years is directly tied to our inability to compete financially for this equipment.

We have been given the opportunity to positively change our economy by actions taken by the Legislature and attorney general that allowed us to put this measure on the ballot. We should all heartily applaud Wendy Jaquet, who has led the charge, demonstrating what our elected officials can accomplish when the mission is clear and overwhelming.

If you have any doubts about the economic benefits that increased and more reliable air service can bring to the Wood River Valley, please give me a call at 650-906-5636.

Increased funding for minimum revenue guarantees means more permanent and long-lasting employment as we expand our tourist facilities and event offerings. It will lead to direct flights and more balanced pricing for travel to and from more destinations.

Vote Yes to Air! And encourage your friends and acquaintances to do the same on Nov. 6.

Jack Bariteau



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