Letter to the editor: McCluskie is not representing the interests of Summit County
Your stories about the collapsing tourism-based economy in Summit County are disturbing. The problem is unwise fear-driven political reactions, not COVID-19 itself. For example, the state budget office wanted to cut 80% to 90% of the tourism budget because that money comes from casinos which are closed so all the office could think of was cutting the budget. Really? How about reopening the casinos and using the money to promote revenue-generating tourism? The tourism industry rallied, and it now appears those budget cuts will be partly restored. After the many government “Stay away” messages, the tourism budget should not be cut at all.
Why didn’t Julie McCluskie vigorously defend the tourism budget? She shares the Denver political elites’ opinion that there is nothing we can do to improve the economy until COVID-19 completely goes away. The Summit County economy cannot wait that long. We need an advocate for restarting our economy — bringing back visitors, increasing business and tax revenue, and getting people back to work.
McCluskie should know that Summit County has had minimal COVID 19 hospitalizations and deaths and that reasonable precautions against the spread of COVID-19 are in place. She needs to be an advocate for tourism and oppose state and county messages that visitors are not welcome and should stay away. The county is now easing restrictions. Great, but too late to save the tourist-lucrative Memorial Day weekend.
McCluskie seems to be more concerned about climate change than the shutdown of Summit County’s tourism economy. She is disturbed, saddened, demoralized and heartbroken but her doom and gloom do-nothing attitude will not bring our economy back. We need optimistic pro-growth, pro-people, pro-Summit County advocates in the statehouse. Julie McCluskie is not up to the job.
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