Letter: The TDA’s biggest-ever marketing spend

Graphic by Lori Deaton

Before we go hog wild on marketing Asheville to the world, can we pause (or at least more slowly ramp up) to consider what’s best for the city and its inhabitants? What results came from the study on tourism and the recent moratorium on hotel development? How can the city best heal from the effects of the pandemic?

I think having the city immediately overrun with tourists may not be the best idea, except for the hotels. Yes, the restaurants that made it through deserve to be rewarded. But there are a lot of people struggling in this town. And minimum-wage jobs (or less than minimum-wage jobs when you think of the restaurant servers) aren’t helping.

Fifteen million dollars on marketing? Is that the best use of that money? I agree with Ben Williamson [“Rampant Tourism or True Progress? Buncombe Commissioners Must Rein in the TDA,” May 12, Xpress] to defund the Tourism Development Authority until the state recognizes that Asheville needs a more useful distribution of these funds.

— Mark H. Bloom


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5 thoughts on “Letter: The TDA’s biggest-ever marketing spend

  1. kw

    Everything is interconnected and interwoven and is about to implode. It’s definitely time to pause marketing an overcrowded town. Don’t worry. With droughts out west and despair elsewhere, people will come and we can use $15 million elsewhere. It’s also time to stop talking about ‘affordable’ and focus on ‘livable’. It’s time to Stop The Bluffs and maybe give locals a discount on ‘not affordable’ beer. And shouldn’t we clean up all that rubble downtown before having guests over?

    • NIMBY

      Build a wall and keep the “others” out. Sounds like a great plan until you price out all the supposed “locals”.

  2. luther blissett

    If you haven’t already contacted your county commissioners, do it tomorrow ahead of their final meeting of the month. Otherwise the TDA gets another year of unaccountably flushing money down the toilet.

  3. kw

    Rumor has it that John Holdsworth has photos of Jerry vehaun and that’s why the Woodfin mayor is being so sneaky trying to change board members and repeal guidelines.

    This video of Holdsworth calling Woodfin P&Z board a ‘bunch of scumbags’ should go viral!!

    Here’s a link to the spot in the video. https://youtu.be/VSl-iAa01hA?t=5736

  4. Richard B.

    It’s becoming increasingly obvious that more “something “needs to be done to bring Asheville back to a safe and friendly destination,
    as obvious as it seems that the City Council, the TDA, and other city officials have the blinders on as to the actual experience as seen through
    a tourist’s eyes in today’s downtown Asheville. Overflowing garbage receptacles, homeless types wandering the streets or prone in Battery Park, –
    high and behaving weirdly. Suspicious types roaming about, who don’t look you in the eyes but rather at your pocket purse. with no cop in sight.
    The first thing that will keep the potential traveler from hitting the Asheville reservations button is the fear of not being safe.
    And that is what they will be reading about as they expand their search about the latest travel news from our region.
    National news mentioned the Asheville police department recent listing of crimes they will not be responding to, a result of defunding and
    a general official attitude of f…. the police.
    So spend the $15 million, it will keep your mind off the real and present danger to increasing tourism in Asheville; – that being an increasing crime rate and unsavory downtown conditions.

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