In response to an anonymous email missive from Scottsdale city council incumbent Virginia Korte this morning, Scottsdale artist and downtown gallery owner, Bob Pejman, penned the reply below which really digs to the bottom line.
To Bob’s commentary I add the following:
- Along with hotels, merchants and galleries have historically been the mechanism by which Scottsdale garnered the visitor/shopper sales taxes that literally built the city, and funded the high quality of life of our residents.
- Scottsdale has actually become known as a destination for shopping!
- In spite of that vital contribution, these folks have been sorely neglected by mayor Jim Lane, Virginia Korte, Linda Milhaven, et al, on the city council, who seemed to be working to fast-track competition from “special events” and interfere with normal shopping.
- One Korte quote that bears reprinting: “…many of the businesses have become their own worst enemy. They’re resisting adapting to the world that’s changing all around them. Many are doing the same old thing to market their businesses and expecting different results.” If that’s true, then those folks have the RIGHT to conduct their business as they see fit, to their own detriment or benefit. Virginia, this isn’t a communist country, where elected officials get to dictate such things.
Here is Bob Pejman’s commentary:
The “Voice of Scottsdale” [email newsletter] is known by many insiders as the unofficial Virginia Korte PR and SPIN machine.
Last Friday, Korte was quoted in the AZ Republic: “I often go online to buy things rather than going to a shop,” and, “There is too much retail space [in downtown Scottsdale], given the buying patterns of today’s shopper.”
So the SPIN is already in progress by 1) calling the merchants and galleries outdated and responsible for their own demise, 2) the Special Events are actually good for them, & 3) the City is not responsible for the “non-support” and “starving” of the merchant areas at all….
This is an insult to the downtown merchant community.