DEAR EDITOR: 

There has been a lot of discussions and debate in the last few months during the COVID-19 crisis about the amount of tourism in town and how to address the number of guests. Whether it is setting up a gate, or asking them to stop at the tourism center for information, or making sure the rental companies do not exceed the occupancy limits, it has been a constant source of opinion. And, while the signs along the Spur tell you how to be safe while visiting through social distancing, washing your hands and masking up, why is there no sign on the way out of town thanking people for coming to visit? 

Many of the eateries, retail shops and professional offices would be suffering were it not for the steady flow of tourist visits. Main Street is alive with pedestrians, shops are open and selling goods, and restaurants are doing very well. Real estate has been in a boom. And, while I am no fan of a long line at the Coffee Cowboy or the Butcher & Baker, it’s a good idea to take a breath and remember that visitors to our charming town allow us to live here. Regardless of your position on the character of the town and the effect of tourism, it is an undeniable fact that our businesses have been better off this summer with visitors. 

When you were growing up, your parents told you to mind your manners and say "thank you." So, it is only appropriate that our local governments consider a sign on the way out thanking visitors for coming. It’s a polite gesture that, frankly, should have been done a long time ago. 

Daniel Zemke

Telluride