Monday, June 26, 2006

Good Will Hunting

The editorial board of the Spokesman Review took the city of Post Falls to task for wanting to be reimbursed $10,800 for services provided for Sunday's Ironman Coeur d'Alene. Note the city - Coeur d'Alene; not Post Falls. Bear in mind Post Falls is a city that cannot provide snow plowing services to all of its residents due to budgetary shortfalls.

As far as I can tell the starting line and finish line are both in Coeur d'Alene. The bulk of the lodging is in Coeur d' Alene and I dare say the downtown area that visitors visit and the restaurants they eat in and the shops they browse are in Coeur d'Alene. Post falls doesn't have a downtown and the restaurants are a mite bit scattered to say the least. Is it possible that the bulk of the benefit they derive is street closures? Is it possible that they have more overflow - if any - from Hoop Fest in Spokane than Ironman? Is it even possible to track the dollars if there are enough to track?

Ironman is for profit undertaking. The editorial stated both the Ironman organization and the CDA Chamber can afford the reimbursements. Do they reimburse Coeur d'Alene? I find it difficult to believe the city absorbs all its costs. If $10,800 is a deal breaker for upcoming years I'd look more to Ironman for its commitment to the area (or lack there of) than to Post Falls.

These are just questions I had while walking pooch this morning thinking if we went anywhere today it would be north because there would be no parking or restaurant seating in Coeur d'Alene for locals who had opted NOT to camp out in town or along the route from the crack of dawn on.

What is most troublesome, however, is the extortion imposed upon Post Falls by the Travel Council in refusing the city a $10,000 grant. A letter to that effect was apparently written by the Coeur d'Alene Resort General Manager, as a member of the Travel Council, to the Post Falls Chamber. One more act of bullying by the community's 8000# gorilla?

Post Falls could opt out all together. The Ironman fans would still find themselves along the route wherever they could find a spot and would applaud no less enthusiastically.

Better yet. Do the math. If the Travel Council would award the $10,000 grant to Post Falls, the city would only be $800 short. Now what's all this about good will?

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