Supporters of the noise-pollution petition — unknowingly or not — are hurting the local business community by stating that motorcyclists do not contribute economically to an already fragile tourist infrastructure.
Chris Speers, President of the Ducati Users Club of Western Canada, injected this fact: ”DUCwc’s annual rally in the Nelson/New Denver/Kaslo area is fairly small (80-plus riders) with respect to the total number of motorcyclists that come into the valley every year, but our little group over one weekend inputs approximately$100,000 into the local economy.”
Yes, that’s $100,000 from less than a hundred riders. There’s no question the thousands of riders who come here each summer contribute millions of dollars to the regional economy. And those are “real” dollars, spent directly through the tills — not the taxpayer dollars doled out like apples from a tree by the various granting agencies each year.
With the persistent windfall of grants, subsidies and government handouts, it’s apparent this valley is blindly riding the road to a false economy. Dollar for dollar — from a business perspective — motorcyclists, summer holiday dwellers … even part-time home owners, inject real cash into this valley. Denying or discouraging any tax-paying tourist access to our small towns is inviting economic disaster.
I suggest that money better spent would be the chamber or Columbia Basin Trust doing a non-partisan, factual assessment of the tourist dollars spent by motorcyclists in this area. Similar studies are regularly undertaken for other pursuits and tourist activities (skiing, boating, sledding, etc.) so what’s holding them back? Bias? A fear of the facts?
Riders purchase fuel, accommodation, food and entertainment — all necessities as they journey through our West Koot Route. Let’s not deflate this much-needed boost from the bikers.
Tamara Barkowsky, New Denver