As a Ketchum resident and owner of Sturtevants and Sun Valley Mountain Guides, I will be voting in favor of the 1 percent increase to the local option tax.
As a resident, I am cognizant of the very unique community and relatively unspoiled natural environment we are very fortunate to call home. It is why many of us have made sacrifices to live here. I would not be in favor of this ballot measure if I felt it compromised this balance, now or in the future.
As a business owner, I know that our economy is strongly tied to tourism, as most of the jobs my businesses provide are tied directly to visitation levels. These customers want a premium experience when they are on vacation and convenience is a dominant variable in that equation. To address these needs in a competitive market, the Wood River Valley needs the ability to market more nonstop flights to Friedman Memorial Airport so that we can attract new visitors and increase return rates of past visitors. The increase to the LOT will help our community do that.
Further, the logistics of getting in and out of the valley is driving businesses away, limiting our ability to attract new businesses, and increases the costs for our existing businesses to operate. In short, the current air service is substantially limiting the valley’s economic potential in numerous ways.
The LOT will ensure we can build on the number of nonstop flights we have coming into Friedman airport now. This initiative is an effective way to secure our common future. Join me in voting in favor on Nov. 5.