Saturday, August 20, 2005

Tourist Transport

A proposal by the city to not pay Historic Tours of America $423,463 next fiscal year for transporting cruise ship passengers to and from the Outer Mole Pier is being met with some resistance by some in the community ? and the city manager says it may force the city to reduce the $10.63 per passenger disembarkation fee.

This article in today's Citizen is about the City of Key West tentatively removing from the budget for FY2006 the money paid to Historic tours of America to transport cruise ship passengers from the outer mole pier.

There are many facets to this, but I was struck by this from Chris Belland of HTA: "HTA founder Chris Belland said the company would probably "take a pass" on the contract if they could not continue to drop the passengers off in front of the HTA shops at Mallory Square." He follows up by saying, "It works and works flawlessly". Well, yeah, sure. The City pays you to bring the passengers to your aquarium, "Wreckers Historeum", and complex of gift shops, where they blow a big part of the $27 they're going to spend in town today. Hey, big spender, save enough for a $4 beer at Sloppy Joe's, or something.

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