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Another Viewpoint: Tourism

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A recent KSL editorial voiced support for the establishment of a Tourism Economic Stimulus Fund for ongoing promotion of tourism in Utah. As proposed, a modest tax on lodging and restaurants would sustain the fund.

Melva Sine of the Utah Restaurant Association was “sorely disappointed” in KSL’s position.

Her organization, “opposes food, meal and restaurant taxes because they increase the price of the final product sold by restaurants, thereby decreasing demand for our product.”

Greg Gruber, a restaurant owner offered this view:

“I can assure you that most meals consumed in restaurants in Utah are not paid for by tourists. To think that they are is preposterous.

“If you truly want to tax tourists consider lift tickets or cars rented at the airport. Otherwise you are bound to snag Utah residents when you cast your wide net.”

From hotel owner Randy Weston came this comment:

“Perhaps, as the legislation proposes, we do need to establish an ongoing Tourism Economic Stimulus Fund, but the money needs to come from reallocation (of resources), not from increases to the transient room or restaurant tax.”

KSL thanks these individuals for adding their perspective to this significant debate. As always, a more complete text of their viewpoints as well as our editorial, can be found on our website at

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