Colin Fryer, after reading your response in last week’s edition to Sarah Sidwell’s comments, it’s obvious you have little concern to the problems the influx of tourists have had on our small community.
Although her comment was inappropriate and she has since publicly apologized, I believe the comment was made out of desperation, with little thought, for shock value, and the passion behind it wasn’t all together wrong in my opinion. You don’t want to be publicly ridiculed but you made your own bed, so to speak.
The “Me Too” movement is a powerful campaign to denounce sexual assault and harassment, so why speak negatively about such things. In your letter you’re compartmentalizing a woman stereotype by referencing that movement, which is just as crude as the comment you’re condemning. Should a woman not voice her opinion strongly? I’m not emboldened by the “Me Too” initiative, I just happen to be a women with something to say and I’m not intimidated by having an adverse opinion.
I also would like to add that we do not need to advance the tourist dollar without first considering solutions in real time to the problems in our community that it’s caused. I don’t even choose to be passionate about these issues, they were forced upon me, because where will my children sleep?
No one is against tourism and we’re happy to have it, but the middle-income families need housing and childcare that they can afford in order to provide services to the ever-growing visitors. I clearly understand from your letter that you have an “it’s not my job or problem” mentality, and you’re quick to shift blame from the travel council to the city’s leadership. If you’re not contributing to a solution, then you’re part of the problem. When the travel council intends to continue to “do their job” and promote visitation with little disregard to the local community that serves it, then they are a part of the problem.
On a personal level from my own story, I’ve maintained full-time employment for the past 10 years in Moab and have had to face enormous challenges when it comes to housing and childcare costs. At times I’ve been left in dire situations and it’s not from my lack of work ethic. It’s because of this town’s greed when it comes to the tourist dollar and overnight rentals evicting what little monthly housing is left that’s affordable. Let’s put our bickering aside and find solutions so we can live here peacefully in the community that is our home and meet the needs of the tourists.