Letters to the Editor

Feedback: Tourist mecca title forfeited

It never ceases to amaze me how our city leaders insist on spending our tax dollars on consultants to justify their desires to declare Oak Harbor as a tourist Mecca. While there are a lot of things that might attract tourists to Oak Harbor, I don’t believe it is the big box stores, fast food restaurants and congested streets that will bring them. In fact, these things seem to me to be a detriment that would encourage people to keep going to get to other places to spend their dollars. Coupeville, Langley and other attractions that are on Whidbey Island come to mind.

In my humble opinion, Oak Harbor forfeited the title of a tourist town 25 to 30 years ago when the city fathers decided to become a mini metropolitan area. This is manifested by the proliferation of the various chain businesses we see when attempting to negotiate Highway 20, during the hours of congested traffic. While these businesses in themselves are not bad, they do not lend themselves to things that tourists would want to spend time or money on.

A major part of this plan is to sell part of City Beach (Windjammer Park) to a development firm to erect a hotel and convention center. In my opinion and that of many others, this park is one of the crown jewels of Oak Harbor. It provides numerous recreation opportunities for the citizens of this town. This includes all age groups, from toddlers to senior citizens. I would like to suggest that before any of more money is spent on this dubious project, that the citizens be polled as to their feelings about this grandiose plan.

Paul Bovey

Oak Harbor

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