Saturday, July 08, 2006

Comments & Commentary By Charles Hill

Hello everybody, long time no talk. I have been watching and trying to figure out if the new tourism director has a clue as to what has been going on and what needs to be done in our City. To help him out here are what I consider the top 5 he needs to address:

5- Kiosk at the sports venues. The City of St. Charles has numerous soccer tournaments and sports events that bring people from all over. A kiosk would educate the participants and families to all St. Charles have to offer. This will go a long way to moving those at the sports fields to other businesses in the City.

4-Stop spending our tax dollars taking people to venues outside of the City of St. Charles. We have plenty to offer the travel writers and if our tourism department doesn’t think so, then they should quit. This has to be the most insulting thing to a business in St. Charles. The tourism department spending our tax dollars in St. Louis while former CVB Director Steve Powell has told us that anyone from the metropolitan area isn’t a tourist.

3-Admit that the Convention Center has cannibalized the other centers and the success is overblown. This will demonstrate his ability to understand and show he will be honest with the people of St. Charles. He should begin to lobby the Council to change the tourism law to exclude the other centers from collecting a tax that supports their competition unfairly.

2- Change and update completely the entire marketing plan of the tourism department. The tried and failed past need not be repeated.

1- Understand that St. Charles is more than Main Street and all businesses that support the Convention and Visitors Bureau should be included in all aspects of our marketing. To put it simply, the idea of packaging would create a tourism department that uses tax dollars that are paid by many to support a few. It is not tourism’s job to advertise for the individual, but for the whole. The idea of packaging would help the few while excluding the many.

I hope the new director has some business sense and sees all we have to offer. Don’t let the bed and breakfast, preservationist lobby get their hooks into the new director. We will see if they have by his first actions. The use of tax dollars paid by the many only to support the few will certainly be telling.