I enjoyed reading your editorial regarding ‘Tour de Delta’, (Optimist, Jan. 20), although it did raise my blood pressure a little.
I agree that we should let this operation keep pedalling down the road and let somebody else pick up the tab. $300,000? You’ve got to be kidding!
Years ago, we operated a B&B, and were involved in forming an organization called ‘Tourism Delta”. This organization included many of the accommodation providers (B&B’s, hotels, etc.), plus restaurants and other tourist attractions in the area. Unfortunately, they had to compete with Delta’s Chamber of Commerce, who were supposed to be handling tourism matters, but were failing miserably.
At that time, Tourism Delta was pleading with council for enough money to help finance the tourism information booths. The new ‘Tour de Delta’ was also asking for money, looking for the same amount, which at that time was $30,000.
The main problem we (tourism industry) had with this, was the fact that Tour de Delta did nothing to contribute to the area. None of the participants or the organizers stayed at Delta accommodations. None even stayed for a meal at local restaurants.
We heard arguments like, “But it brings in lots of people, lots of spectators”. The problem was, none of them stayed even long enough to spend some money on meals, or local goods.
To add insult to injury, they (Tour de Delta) was asking all the businesses to contribute to the prize money for their race, and accommodation providers to ‘billet’ the cyclers for free, for the duration.
Needless to say, nobody in the Tourism industry was very pleased with this bicycle race that contributed nothing to the economy, yet required Delta council and Delta businesses to finance them.
So, I agree, let’s use that money for something that will contribute to Delta.