Archived Opinion

TDA picks bad time to open visitor center

To the Editor:

Regarding the monument to the Haywood County Tourism Development Authority, these two headlines are just too much to take on the same page of the April 27 eidtion of The Smoky Mountain News:

• “Folkmoot Funding Gets the Ax”

• “TDA Makes Amends with Haywood Chamber”

Let me get this straight. The TDA doesn’t have $6,000 to promote Folkmoot through advertising — something they have been doing since 1984, and something that is their sole mandate for existence. And their reason, besides the ubiquitous “bad economy” excuse, is due to the overhead associated with the new downtown Waynesville Visitor Center.

So while they’re busy building a monument to themselves (in a bad economy), they have no money for advertising an annual event that brings in reportedly $4 million, spread across most of Haywood County over a two-week period.

Do I have that about right?

“Do we give the money to one event, or keep it to represent the entire county?” ask some on the TDA board.

Well let’s see. Let’s not promote the largest event in the county, especially since Ghost Town is a ghost town and Wheels Through Time is gone after this season. What are you saving it for, the ‘Mater Festival?

It seems a bit over the top to me and a waste of my tax dollars, since a few blocks away the TDA could have continued to pool resources with the Haywood County Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center.

Don’t tell me, let me guess. As soon as the first rent payment comes due on the new digs, you’ll be back knocking at our door for another 25 to 50 percent increase in the TDA lodging tax because you ‘“need” it.

Any government entity, left unto itself, will eventually run amok.

Larry Wright


Maggie Valley

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