Letters to the Editor 1

Arising tide will float all boats

 

Dear Editor,

RE: Threeprevious reader opinions – Christy Lindberg on June 5, Ryan Frazier on May 22and Bob Cunningham. I just wanted to thank all of these writers for taking thetime to express their opinions about Veranda Beach, tourism and their combinedbelief in wanting to see Oroville continue to prosper for future generations. Ihave always made an effort to be part of the community I work and live inwithout thinking the only reason is to make the company I work for look good.Making a positive difference for the community by growing a good business ispart of what I do as part of the resort industry.

I believe that Ryan, like a lot ofother folks from Oroville, does not understand the business model that is beingbuilt at Veranda Beach. Veranda is not your typical housing development, likeSandalia, with construction jobs that go away when the project is completed.Veranda is a resort project that people can visit as guest like any otherresort in the country; it is not a gated private community only for those whobuy homes.

In Ryan’s(guest) editorial he stated that our employees “simply get the table scraps ofVeranda,” I can assure Ryan that I have been in the industry for over 40 yearsand the “table scraps” are pretty good for anyone that is willing to work. Weare one of a small number of start-up companies in the Oroville area employingeight people this year outside of our construction contractors, next seasonthis number will grow to 30 and the growth will continue from there.

The Stateof Washington uses a factor of 2.5 when calculating job loss or gain in acommunity. In Oroville and Okanogan County’s case this is a gain of 2.5 jobs for every new job created by VerandaBeach. To further boost the economy, according to the Washington Department ofTourism, every dollar that flows through Veranda Beach Resort operations willbe spent a minimum of five more times in the community prior to moving on intothe greater economy of the country. If anyone doubts the affect of tourism spentin the community, ask any restaurant, hardware store, grocery store, laundry,landscaping or any other business in Oroville if they have seen an increasesince Veranda Beach opened.

The bestpart of the growth at Veranda Beach is that the county’s tax basis will haveincreased by approximately $50 million by the end of 2008 with very littleburden on services. One hundred ten new cottages and no increase in kids goingto school in Oroville, but a huge increase of cash flow through the community.

A recentUniversity of Michigan study from 2005 indicated that tourism dollars spent onthe average at that time was $170.98 per visitor day (a visitor day is countedas one person for one day). So a family of four staying in a community wouldspend an average of $683.92 on everything from travel to food to entertainmentto lodging. If this sounds farfetched you haven’t been on vacation lately. Thestudy also pointed out that 86% of the spending is captured by the localeconomy yielding $588 in direct sales to local businesses.

Using 2005study values Veranda will generate about 2,500 visitor days in 2008 at a valueof $1,707,500, so the local economy should see $1,502,600 in spending. Thenaysayers will say this is impossible and that only the big guys make the money,but I have good news for everyone, the whole boat will float at the same time.Even if you think the company you work for has nothing to do with tourism itprobably does. The challenge for Oroville and the greater community is to growopportunities for tourist to spend money so the community as a whole willbenefit from this industry. There are a lot of great business opportunitiesthat will spin out of a successful tourist industry that are easy to develop,call me for some insight.

I keephearing the term “Ticky-tacky” when some people describe the cottages atVeranda. I invite anyone to come out and take a look at cottages being builtfrom the foundations to completed cottages, they are well built and meet orexceed all county and state codes.

For fun Idid a little history digging of my own regarding Dairy Point and its farminghistory. It was last farmed in the 1940′s by the Curtis family and left vacant- owned by multiple owners since then. I find it a little amusing to readRyan’s note that people like himself could “camp and take in a little piece ofparadise” on “Dairy Point,” I know thismay sound odd, but most people would call this trespassing. The amusing part isthat I know I did the same thing as a kid where I grew up. I built the besttree house in the State of Washington on a vacant lot near my parent’s houseonly to have some heartless developer cut the tree down without my permissionto build a house. By the way, Veranda Beach has started farming at “DairyPoint” for the first time in over 60 years with the planting of seven acres ofvineyard with more to come!

I found BobCunningham’s note striking close to home since I came to Oroville last Junefrom Rosario Resort where I was the General Manager. Rosario has taken a long timeto grow from Gill Geiser’s original dream in 1960 to the Pacific Northwestjewel that it is. Rosario is now the largest single employer in San Juan Countywith gross sales in excess of $7 million all based on a seasonal business plan.Rosario has in the last year been approved for a new Resort Master Plan basedon a model very similar to the current Veranda Beach plan complete withcottages.

Even thoughit is a seasonal business, Rosario employs 138 full time equivalent employeeswith a low of 90 during the winter and a high of 260 in the summer. Other thanprivate philanthropy, Rosario is one of the largest single donors to charity inthe county; they even pay employees for community service project time. Thebiggest challenge for San Juan County is a Rosario shut down for redevelopmentthat will pull over $2.5 million in payroll and over 80,000 visitor days out ofthe economy during rebuild.

Thanksagain to Ryan, Christy and Bob fortaking the time to be part of the community, I invite you and anyone else togive me a call and come on out for a tour of what we are doing at VerandaBeach.

Jim Bankson – General Manager

Veranda Beach

Oroville

 

Shechose to attack the messenger

 

Dear Editor,

FaigeeNiebow “really” needs to turn off her TV and disconnect from her world for acouple of minutes and reread my letter of June 12. Nowhere in the letter did my’paranoia’ allude to “… a plot to bring down America and the world” or “… ahuge underground conspiracy.”

ApparentlyI’m not the only passenger on the paranoia express. What do plastic bottles andsunblock have to do with the machinations of Al Gore?

In typicalliberal fashion, unable to refute the message, she chose to attack themessenger.

Bill Everly

Tonasket

 

Organicfarming can lessen global warming

 

Dear Editor,

As globalwarming becomes more of a threat to society, there is a little-known solutionin our own backyards: organic farming.

RodaleInstitute has conducted nearly 30 years worth of research looking at organicand conventional farming and has found that organic, regenerative methods candrastically reduce greenhouse gases. By using methods such as no-till farming,compost
ing and crop rotation, farmers can store as much as 2,000 lbs. of carbonper acre in their soil. If all of our croplands converted to organic practices,it would be the equivalent of taking 217 million cars off the roads each year.

Farmershave always been our heroes – they fed our citizens and helped our nation growin good times as well as bad. Today farmers can be heroes in the fight againstclimate change by making the transition to organic farming. By supportingorganic farms and buying organic products, we can all be heroes.

Tim LaSalle – President

Rodale Institute

Kutztown, Pennsylvania

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