Chris Collins
The Baker City Herald

Why no welcome to downtown?

To the editor:

I understand we are not closing off Main Street during the motorcycle rally, due to safety concerns, and that the vendors and special events accompanying that rally will not be setting up in the downtown area but will instead be moved to the Sunridge Inn parking lot.

After all the whining and complaining I hear about how to increase tourism, here at our first opportunity after suffering through the long dreary winter to have thousands of visitors to our fair city, we shove them and their special events out to a parking lot at the totally un-unique, same ol', same ol', freeway interchange. Nothing against the Sunridge, but don't you find that a bit ironic, stupid even? Why have we bothered to fix up our downtown area and spend all that time, energy and money attracting visitors? I don't get it. Is this the best we can offer? Have we forgotten how to be good hosts? I thought the idea was to do your best for your guests; apparently not.

The following weekend we host the bicycle races. Will the same rules apply to them? Will they be schlepped out to the freeway interchange too? If safety concerns are a real factor, wasn't someone seriously injured in a spill two years ago? Shouldn't that be enough to make downtown a no-no zone, keeping Main Street open? And don't all those bicyclists and their warm up paraphernalia scattered all over the sidewalks inhibit easy access to downtown businesses?

Aren't those the same arguments being used regarding the motorcyclists?

Dropping the sarcasm, I hope we don't move the bicyclists away from downtown, I think it's great they and their stuff is here downtown, welcome, welcome. But I feel the same way regarding the motorcyclists and the old car enthusiasts and the everyday family that graces us by choosing to spend their time and money in our town, thank you!

I confess to not understanding this other attitude of shoving them away from what we've worked so hard to create and maintain - our inviting and unique downtown shopping district.

Tom Novak

Baker City