Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Net Results Watch

The smoking ban will soon be law, but the City-County Council is not finished. It will soon be considering a host of new taxes to pay for the Colts new palace and a new convention center. Taxes on the table include:

1% Marion County food & beverage tax
Increased taxes on rental cars
Increased taxes on hotel rooms

So, if you are a conventioneer, coming to Indy means that you can't smoke, your meals and drinks will cost more, your rental car will cost more, and your hotel room will cost more. As a conventioneer, what value do you get from this? Nada.

I have to believe that some conventions will just skip Indy due to the smoking ban. Word is that the firefighters won't come here any more. You have to be realistic about the outcomes of policy. These new laws and taxes make Indy less attractive, not more.

Do this enjoyable excercise:
  1. Indianapolis? Or, Las Vegas?
  2. Indianapolis? Or, New York City?
  3. Indianapolis? Or, Las Angeles?
OK. That's not really fair. Try this:
  1. Indianapolis? Or, Nashville?
  2. Indianapolis? Or, Columbus?
  3. Indianapolis? Or, Cleveland?
This is what conventioneers do. The first set of three is a no-brainer. Conventioneers will put up with smoking bans in New York, mainly because New York is New York. If Indianapolis is on par with Columbus in terms of attractions, do conventioneers now choose Columbus because their prople can smoke? Do they choose Cleveland or Nashville because the rooms, cars, food and drink is cheaper?

It would be way smarter to pass some laws that would make the choice for Indy easier instead of harder.

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