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Letters to the Editor

Alternative lifestyles might be worth considering

By now it should be obvious that the millions in tax dollars spent on the downtown beautification, the city-funded statue purchased, and RDA handouts to failing businesses, are monies long gone and wasted. Boulder City is due to be bypassed, and before that happens, casual tourism will be choked off by the traffic problems associated with the construction of the interchange at Railroad Pass.

Using tax dollars to support the Boulder City Chamber of Commerce and the Boulder City Tourism Commission is likewise a waste as the same people who did nothing when something could have been done are now the ones promising great things if only the taxpayers will continue to fund them. It is time to accept that the grand schemes to turn Boulder City into another Flagstaff or Sedona, Ariz., have failed.

Tourism is all about bringing in tourist dollars. Under the present circumstances you have to ask just how realistic Boulder City has been in its efforts to attract tourists. Legalized gaming remains a proven drawn and our best option. If residents could gamble here, they would not go out of town to spend their money.

Unfortunately, there is too much local opposition from folks who would say that gambling is immoral, but who say nothing when council candidates accept large donations from the gaming industry, or when tax dollars are used to promote our city-owned golf courses in partnership with an out-of-town gambling hall.

The next best alternative might be to cater to the folks who, because of their alternative lifestyles, are assumed to have more disposable income than people in more traditional relationships. Now that the city fathers and mothers have spent us into a hole, and the only hope of climbing out requires mortgaging the town’s soul, it is time to embrace what has been proved to work elsewhere.

If Palm Springs had not become gay friendly it might have ended up exactly where Boulder City appears to be headed. The epiphany for me came this summer while I was driving on Interstate 15 toward the Strip. I saw one billboard advertising “Boulder City, a world away for a day.” I saw several other billboards announcing Las Vegas’ “gay days.” Which promotion do you think brought in more tourist dollars?

The fact is it is almost a historical certainty that some of the workers who built Hoover Dam were gay. Given the features of various statues on display downtown it has been suggested that something gay is already going on here. What consenting adults do in private could easily be overlooked if only they paid to do it at the Boulder Dam Hotel and spent the rest of their money in the historical downtown.

Times change. It took me a while to accept that we have a councilman who cries in public over the smallest things. With that said, I suppose I could also get used to seeing same sex couples strolling the Art Scape while they enjoy Boulder City’s unique culture, history and ambience.

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