Visitors, boaters require more from our facilities

Published 11:40 pm Thursday, August 22, 2013

One of the more basic principles of economics is supply and demand. In many ways, it is both the beginning and ending principle of economics and the easiest one to understand.

And, it is with this principle in mind that we routinely challenge our elected leaders to continue to find ways to invest in those things that create demand, create interest from consumers — both those who live in the area and those who visit.

In recent editorials we have called on city leaders to find ways to continue development of the Selma Marina, looking to find ways to bring back the fuel station, increasing the overall value of the marina and the draw to boaters.

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In recent months, we have made passing comments about the need for a long-term, non-volunteer solution to the operations of the Historic St. James Hotel. It is not because we don’t think the volunteers are an improvement over the dismal service afforded by Gourmet Services — they are — but it is our opinion a city is not in the business of running a hotel and volunteers often times cannot maintain the pace of a potentially busy hotel.

In regards to the St. James, the demand on the part of visitors for a unique experience, in a quality establishment is there and only a qualified management company or hotel operation can afford the consistent service needed to meet such a potential demand.

Earlier this year, the city of Selma got out of the residential trash business because a private company could do it better and cheaper than the city could. Now, the city is looking at farming out other services to third party companies. Why would they think they are in a position to run a hotel long term?

Both the St. James and the Selma Marina are huge assets for the city of Selma and assets that must be tended to and developed. They are assets that will no doubt — if handled correctly and taken care of — will provide big returns to the citizens of Selma.

Recreational boaters have a demand for a river fuel point. The city should answer the call.

Visitors are demanding a unique experience in Selma. The city — through the St. James — should answer the call.

There are those who say government should run more like a business. In the examples we’ve listed above, we couldn’t agree more.