Our view: Tourists in all of us

It's a phrase that has been uttered at least a couple of times during the past few weeks.

It's a phrase sometimes said in jest, sometimes in anger.

It's a phrase the Editorial Board thinks - for those of us who are saying it - needs to be re-evaluated, regardless of the reason.

The phrase?

"If it's tourist season, why can't we shoot them?"

The reason some give for parroting this phrase, or similar phrases, is the perceived problems tourists can cause. Tourists are cited with causing problems with traffic, lengthening lines while shopping, delaying locals from sitting down at our favorite restaurants because they're at capacity or filling up parking spaces.

The Editorial Board encourages those of us who cite these as problems to look at them in another light.

Yes, traffic increases with more people in town, but the number of people contributing to our shops and restaurants also increases (Also, the idea that traffic has ever been "really bad" in Craig is a relative term).

Yes, there can be delays in getting our shopping done, but more money spent in town means more jobs for locals.

Yes, you might have to wait longer in line to get into your favorite restaurant, but that only ensures the delectable delights will be here after the tourists are gone.

And, yes, parking can be a problem, but studies show having a parking problem can be good in the long run. Why? Because as people are finding parking spots farther from the desired location, they also are walking by other shops, meaning more exposure to their products and services, more through-traffic in their shops and, ultimately, a greater chance of these hometown businesses being able to afford to dwell in their hometown.

Think about the alternative.

No traffic means no one is here.

No delays in shopping could mean you would have to drive to Steamboat to buy simple items because the local shops couldn't afford to stay in business.

No waits in restaurants could mean no restaurants at all.

And no parking problems could mean there is no place worth parking in the first place.

In short, tourists - notably hunters during this part of the season - make us a viable city.

And when it comes down to it, the tourist season is a short time in a long year.

We have our tourist surges and our special events, but for the most part, we have our quaint, wonderful town.

And if not for the tourists, we wouldn't be able to keep it that way.

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