Family members and friends of those competing in the state track meet watch the races at Memorial Stadium in Selma.
Family members and friends of those competing in the state track meet watch the races at Memorial Stadium in Selma.

It’s time we work together to show hospitality

Published 9:23pm Monday, April 22, 2013

Where were they? Did they have an emergency pop up? Did someone request more towels? Were they swamped with last-minute reservations?

Thursday, the city of Selma, the Dallas County Commission, the city’s parks and recreation department and the Selma-Dallas County Chamber of Commerce organized a meeting to let those businesses in the hospitality field know more about upcoming events, the efforts underway to bring in more events and discuss ways to improve the overall visitor experience in Selma.

The problem was, many of the key players in the hospitality field simply didn’t show up.

They were invited. Emails went out, calls were made. It wasn’t a lack of not knowing, it may be simply a case of not caring.

While we can understand why restaurants were unable to attend, as the meeting was perilously close to the start of the lunch rush, hotel operators who ignored the invitations — in our opinion — had no excuse.

Were they still upset about the city’s decision to increase the lodging fee to help the YMCA of Selma? Keep in mind the lodging fee came at no cost to the hotel operators at all, but still they fought and ultimately weakened the final fee increase.

Were they upset the city of Selma is looking at calling for a sales tax audit of some businesses to ensure the right amount of sales taxes are being paid? We don’t know.

What we do know is that the hotel operators and the restaurateurs are the ones who will make more money from upcoming events then any other business.

They are the ones who will benefit from the thousands of dollars paid out by the city of Selma and the Dallas County Commission to help attract the upcoming Cabela’s King Kat fishing tournament.

They are the ones who will benefit from the thousands of dollars paid out by the city of Selma to recruit and land the upcoming AHSAA Class 1A-3A state track meet; an event that brings in more than 1,700 athletes, 400 coaches and countless family members, friends and fans.

Maybe they thought all of this just happened on its own. Maybe they thought they were booked up over the next few weekends because the weather was nice or because they simply opened their doors for business.

No.

Their success is directly tied to the city of Selma’s success. Their success is directly tied to Dallas County’s success. And for many of them to not attend last week’s meeting was an insult to those who have helped in effect subsidize their business.

It is time for these hotel operators and owners to put aside any ill feelings toward the city of Selma for whatever reason and begin to work together.

The city of Selma, the Chamber of Commerce and the Dallas County Commission can do all it can to bring events to Selma, but it is those who work in the hospitality field who will keep those visitors coming back for more.

It is time we all understand that we are in this together and begin working together.

Editor's Picks

philosophical