Letter: Hotels would benefit from tourism bureau

To the editor:

Which came first, the chicken or the egg? That question sums up a good portion of the debate surrounding the proposed 5 percent hotel/motel tax to fund a convention and visitors bureau in Johnson County.

On one side, opponents suggest that Johnson County is not a tourist destination and there is not a major attraction to promote. The proponents of the tax suggest that promoting the county will attract businesses to locate here and encourage residents from surrounding areas to visit local establishments and events, creating revenue for the county.

Candlewood Suites, which has been an outspoken opponent of the tax, claims that they would lose an advantage when negotiating corporate contract rates if the tax were imposed. I would argue that that is a short-term view. Candlewood Suites built in their location with the anticipation of close proximity to a major retail development which failed to materialize.

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