Letters to the Editor

Criticism of Town’s proposed Hotel/Motel Tax from local industry giant

Dear Mayor and Board of Aldermen:

I heard what went on at the meeting (on) Thursday night (April 26) and the refusal of further discussion on the vote of a Farragut Hotel Tax.

This action further points out that if you have a need for taxes, don’t base it on a false premise. It should be based on actual facts and a solid plan for moving forward. It is unfair to select a small group of businesses to tax without any definitive plan of how the tax will better the community.

My opinion on this tax has not changed and my credentials for making these comments about tourism are as follows:

I have owned and operated a hotel in Gatlinburg as well as other businesses in the hospitality industry for almost 30 years. These businesses include the Edgewater Hotel, LeConte Lodge and numerous restaurants in the Sevier County area.

Also, I am a founding director and was Chairman of the Board for over 16 years of the Knoxville Sports Corporation.

This organization was so successful at bringing tourism into the Knoxville area, the Knox County Government asked us to take over all their tourism aspects. With that request, the organization became the Knoxville Sports and Tourism Corp.

These were a precursor to the organization now known as Visit Knoxville.

Thank you.

William B. Stokely III

Owner, The Stokely Company;

Staybridge Suites, Knoxville West