Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Blouin and his blah, blah boosterism

I hate boosterism, it’s so cheesy. And I don’t understand how some of these rah-rah types, most notably represented in the likes of Mike Blouin, miss the fact that everyone -- outside of the ten people involved with planning the poster shot moment -- gets how manufactured the enthusiastic boosterism really is.

Yeah-rah! Let’s pile the kids into the van and road trip to Perry to check out the Hotel Pattee lobby. And to prop this sort of illusion you have Blouin spouting crap like this in today's Council Bluffs' Daily Nonpareil:

"With travel trends moving towards shorter, more spontaneous and more meaningful vacations, traveling in Iowa over the July Fourth weekend, or anytime, just makes sense," said Blouin. "With all of the new attractions, community events and unique getaways available, travelers from inside and outside the state will find a great vacation at a great value."

What’s worse is Blouin’s running-for-Governor-idea of increasing taxes to pay for our tourism hot spots.

Blouin said that while tourism brings in considerable revenue, Iowa still has one of the lowest budgets to promote tourism per capita of any state. And although tourism is gaining attention in the Legislature, Blouin feels that it isn't getting far enough.

"The problem is that tourism is not high enough on the priority list; we need to create a new source of revenue," he said. "We need creative funding solutions so that tourism is not competing with other general budget issues. So it's not education or tourism."

One option that Blouin discussed is having a rental car tax that would fund only tourism.

He said that tourism plays an important role in the development of a new Iowa identity.

And what sort of peyote button do they hand out in the department of Economic Development? Iowa is not Florida, it’s not Colorado, #$%^, it’s not even Rhode Island. People come to Iowa to ask: What is that smell? And how did I get here? And then have a nice visit with people who are distant relatives to Doris.

But Blouin goes on…

"Some people visit Iowa and think, 'This would be a great place to expand our business,' or retire," he added.

The operative words being “some people”…

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