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.”
http://www.azcentral.com/ story/news/local/scottsdale/ 2016/07/22/guidon-books- leaving-old-town-scottsdale- after-52-years/87034332/
So the SPIN is already in progress by 1) calling the merchants and galleries outdated and responsible for their own demise, 2) the Special Events are actually good for them, & 3) the City is not responsible for the “non-support” and “starving”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.
Additional comment from Howard Myers, via email:
Yeah and not mentioned is how Korte, Milhaven, Klapp, and Lane are changing the demographic of the people who both live and visit downtown and therein lies the problem for the galleries, old town shops, and restaurants, and eventually Fashion Square.
We are replacing middle aged people with money they spend there with the young, drunk, and stupid who don’t go to these shops, much less buy anything in them.
However they are chasing out the people who flocked to downtown and bought things. That is the real problem, not necessarily the events and yes this city council is directly responsible and in fact it is their agenda to change the whole look and feel of Scottsdale.
Virginia Korte has always been an unethical businesswomen, as demonstrated when her Scottsdale car dealership tried to sell as new, a repainted Monte Carlo and forced the consumer to go to small claims court to receive a judgement against her !!!
Now she is being influenced by developers to do what is not in Scottsdale’s best interest.
I’m not sure how someone like her can sleep at night!