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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

How to get more tourists to Portland: tax them harder

That's the supreme pretzel logic of this move by Portland's lame duck City Council. What's even more troubling than a tax increase during a recession is the fact that the money will just be handed over to some private hotelier group to play marketing games with it.

If we're going to raise taxes on tourists, the money should be used to do some of the essential things that government used to do around here, like pave roads, hire and train cops, and maintain a quality school system. There's no rule that hotel taxes have to be spent on tourism. When Oregonians visit states that have sales taxes, we support essential government services in those states. There's no reason that the same shouldn't be true of out-of-state visitors to Portland.

But hey, this is the Portland City Council. They are off on their own special brand of lunacy. There really is no sense trying to reason with them. This is but one small part of the last 200 days of the Sam Rands. Then the next inmates will check in to run the asylum.

Comments (11)

The worst part of those games is that the things about Portland that might get tourists to come out aren't the things that these marketing geniuses would want to pitch. That's because most of those assets are either quiet, cheap, or free. The marketers will be focused on hip, edgy, and thrilling, and never mind that that crowd usually comes out with $20 and one shirt and doesn't change either all week. Worse, they then try to move in.

I have to say that I have sympathy for Portland's plight, because anybody trying to attract tourists has to do something other than perpetuate the vague "Portland is sooooo cool" vibe that's been carrying Rose City tourism for the last twenty years. Of course, I live in a city where the tourist council still pitches "Come for the shopping malls!" as if it's still 1985. Considering that our only other reason as a major tourist destination involves a Presidential assassination, though, they have their work cut out for them.

Now there you go gett'n all practical and stuff.

Look a "special tax" is so "special people" can control the cookie jar.

Junkets are an important part of a healthy sex life for the political class.

Started my websurfing with a snicker this morning Jack, thanks.

When I heard this story on the radio late yesterday, I could have sworn I heard the report say, "To promote tourism, there's a new tax on hotel rooms ...."

Well, that's all I HEARD, anyway.

Fits right in with what we expect.

Washington State got rid of their state tourism office


Closure of WA. state tourism office - The state no longer has any funding to promote itself to travelers.

Washington business leaders put together a consortium of businesses, associations and individuals to step in and take over the job. The new nonprofit, Washington Tourism Alliance, immediately began raising money"

It may well be that in order to prevent bankruptcy, we will be handed a long list of new taxes.

Tourism? How many people came for the Rose Festival Parade this year? This Parade in my opinion anyway is not as grand as it used to be.
Granted there were a few nice floats, but we used to have many more.
Where are the roses? For the City of Roses, one would like to see a showering of roses on those floats.

On another note,it won't take too many trips from the Lloyd Center to downtown on the Max for the word to spread about how safe this city is. The scene downtown won't help much either.

I would only be surprised if this tax wasn't used to subsidize the Convention Center Zombie Hotel.

The more it costs to visit Portland, the more people will think it must be worth it. And with the governors new push for more Hollywood, visitors might even get to see a 2nd rate television show being filmed!

A television showing of the folly of a city so that the rest of the country can laugh at us!

They can laugh while we weep and get the moving trucks ready. That might produce an episode, miles of moving trucks congested in a traffic gridlock with food carts along the route. Newcomers with signs along the route saying "Good Riddance" to the negative ones who won't comply!

I heard the parade noise last weekend when I ventured downtown to run errands and didn't feel remotely interested seeing it.

The Grand Floral Parade - and in fact the Rose Festival itself - that I remember is nothing like the one we have today.

The parade didn't use to be "branded" with a corporate name. If you had a high school marching band in Portland, it had a chance of being included. Local businesses could afford to decorate and enter floats. The Junior Rose Festival parade was on a weekend so that everyone could support it. You had to attend a Portland high school to be eligible to be on the Rose Court. There was a Junior Court for girls AND boys and they had a float as well. There was no money throwing along the parade route, no rabid reserving of spots and everyone made room of the little kids to see.

The Grand Floral Parade is now for newbies and tourists.

In other words, like everything else, it's a show for people who have no investment in the community.

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