Arizona Hotel Boycott Making an Impact

The boycott of Arizona hotels following the enactment of its terrible immigration law, S.B. 1070, is having an effect according to a new report.

STR data shows Arizona hotels began losing business soon after the law was signed on 23 April....The Arizona Hotel and Lodging Association reported at least 23 meetings had been cancelled throughout the state, representing an estimated US$6 million to US$10 million in lost revenue.

“The economic impact is increasing every day and every week. Groups that were considering us as an option are pulling out of Tucson and other Arizona cities,” said Richard Brooks, director of sales and marketing for the Westin La Paloma in Tucson. Groups that were considering holding meetings at the hotel for 10 years or more out are not considering Arizona now, according to Brooks.


Brooks and others in Arizona’s hotel sector said they also have lost individual traveler business and are concerned about losing travel from Mexico during the lucrative summer season.

Phoenix may lose $90 million in convention bookings over the next 5 years. I'm shedding no tears for the hotel industry which says, "You are penalizing the wrong people.” What did the hotel business do to lobby their legislative reps to defeat the bill? If nothing, then their hands aren't clean and the boycott is fair. They should have spoken up.

Cities that have joined the boycott so far: Los Angeles; San Francisco; Boulder, Colorado and St. Paul, Minnesota. Other groups: the Service Employees International Union, the National Urban League, the National Association of Black Accountants and the American Immigration Lawyers Association.

For another view, read my pal Blair Sabol, who moved from NY to Arizona 20 years ago, over at New York Social Diary.

Update: On further reflection, I think the boycott could do permanent damage. Back in 1973, there was a boycott of Safeway over selling grapes, led by Cesar Chavez. I was in law school and wouldn't cross the picket line. It was one of our two major grocery chains. I never went back. There's something about Safeway that my car just won't go there. I wonder how much money Safeway lost just from me over the past 37 years, all due to a decades-old boycott. My point being, long after the boycott of AZ ends, I bet there will be lots of people who don't choose to visit or buy things made in Arizona because it just leaves a bad taste in their mouth.

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    Or... (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Sat May 15, 2010 at 02:38:23 PM EST
    ...as I said a few days ago:

    In addition to the immediate economic damage, there is a negative impression that lingers in the public mind even after the situation has been rectified.

    I still don't eat table grapes. (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by caseyOR on Sat May 15, 2010 at 03:31:50 PM EST
    The United Farmworkers led grape boycott started when I was in high school. It marked my first political foray outside of mainstream electoral politics. For a time one of my tasks was to ask grocery store produce managers to show me the union label on the boxes of grapes, lettuce, etc.

    To this day i don't eat table grapes, and I have never had a sip of any Gallo wine.

    Me, neither (none / 0) (#7)
    by gyrfalcon on Sat May 15, 2010 at 04:28:13 PM EST
    on the grapes, and I've never bought Gallo wine myself.  I've unknowingly had a glass or two at other people's houses and found out it was Gallo when I asked-- and it's very good cheap wine.  Still, can't bring myself to purchase either one.

    Interesting (none / 0) (#8)
    by andgarden on Sat May 15, 2010 at 04:33:48 PM EST
    What about Chilean grapes?

    None for me, thank you. (none / 0) (#10)
    by caseyOR on Sat May 15, 2010 at 06:43:19 PM EST
    I don't buy Chilean grapes, either. With the exception of bananas, I tend not to buy any produce from any farther away than Mexico and sometimes Florida.  My Mexican purchases tend to be in the winter and often spring from a craving for red bell peppers.

     I'm  fortunate to live in a place where I have the option of choosing my food based on how close to me it is grown.


    My mom has not bought any (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by observed on Sat May 15, 2010 at 03:36:19 PM EST
    Nestle's product since the 1970's, including brands like Stouffers, etc.

    NY Social Diary (none / 0) (#1)
    by cymro on Sat May 15, 2010 at 02:21:53 PM EST
    Thanks for the link; very funny commentary.

    Why NY Social Diary? (none / 0) (#3)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat May 15, 2010 at 02:34:23 PM EST
    Is it a spoof and she's not really from Arizona?

    Don't Forget Austin (none / 0) (#2)
    by squeaky on Sat May 15, 2010 at 02:26:59 PM EST
    Another city in the boycott.

    I'm just kind of miffed (none / 0) (#9)
    by Jen M on Sat May 15, 2010 at 04:56:33 PM EST
    because I can't boycott Arizona. I have never been there and have never had any particular desire to go there (I'm more of a New Mexico fan)

    I don't even drink Arizona iced tea.

    Oh well.

    Jen, AriZona Iced Tea (none / 0) (#14)
    by Zorba on Sat May 15, 2010 at 08:20:26 PM EST
    is based in New York.  They may, however, want to think about changing their name.  ;-)
    (And I, too, have never been to Arizona, and certainly have no desire to do so now.)

    The only thing that really sucks... (4.00 / 3) (#17)
    by Thanin on Sat May 15, 2010 at 08:45:35 PM EST
    is the Grand Canyon truly is amazing in person.  Luckily I saw it long before all this happened.

    I was thinking the same thing (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by ruffian on Sat May 15, 2010 at 08:56:08 PM EST
    Only thing I want to see again in the state. I've been wanting to go see that new visitor overlook with the plexiglas floor. But I can wait.

    yeah (none / 0) (#26)
    by Jen M on Sun May 16, 2010 at 07:48:19 AM EST
    I know, but then I keep thinking about that salsa ad.

    "New York City"?!


    90 million in five years? (none / 0) (#11)
    by diogenes on Sat May 15, 2010 at 07:12:11 PM EST
    If the law causes some small number of illegal aliens to also boycott the state, crossing the border at other states and leaving Arizona for nearby states, surely the savings (medical, criminal justice, educational, etc) would exceed eighteen million dollars a year, especially since in this economy additional unskilled workers are useless.
    The 73% who favor the law would be delighted to cut the number of illegal aliens by, say, 10% for a mere eighteen million dollars a year.

    Here are some facts (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by mexboy on Sat May 15, 2010 at 11:49:29 PM EST
    I have no idea why you write such nonsense when a google search would reveal the facts.
    ...surely the savings (medical, criminal justice, educational, etc) would exceed eighteen million dollars a year, especially since in this economy additional unskilled workers are useless.

    Here's an article on MSN

    Illegal immigrants are paying taxes to Uncle Sam, experts agree...One rough estimate puts the amount of Social Security taxes alone at around $9 billion per year.
    full article

    Harvard Latino Law Review study here

    Many Americans believe that undocumented immigrants are exploiting the United States economy.[1] The widespread belief is that "illegal

    * Top of Page 2 *

    aliens"[2] cost more in government services than they contribute to the economy.[3] This belief is demonstrably false. "[E]very empirical study of illegals' economic impact demonstrates the opposite . . . : undocumenteds actually contribute more to public coffers in taxes than they cost in social services."[4]

    Some of those tax-paying undocumented workers will never receive a cent in benefits from the SS they are paying for. We will. You also fail to recognize that a lot of those workers are single men who have no kids here. Whose kids are we educating?

    The facts are out there if you chose to learn.


    Crime and illegal immigration are (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by MKS on Sun May 16, 2010 at 07:22:40 PM EST
    actually down in Arizona.....This new law, and the accompanying one banning Latino studies classes in public schools, are solutions in search of a problem.....

    Single men (none / 0) (#37)
    by diogenes on Sat Jun 12, 2010 at 01:03:16 AM EST
    With unemployment at 10%, underemployment at 17%, and the country paying welfare and unemployment benefits to unemployed legal residents, there is no evidence for a shortage of unskilled workers in this country. Studies done during an economic boom do not apply now.  They only prove that a guest worker program can be a fine idea at certain times.

    This is why I feel sorry for Arizona (3.50 / 2) (#19)
    by nyjets on Sat May 15, 2010 at 09:53:28 PM EST
    Arizona is trying to protect their jobs and economy by finding the 'undocumented' immigrants. Now people (who would change there tune if they lost their job to an immgrant)want to punish the state by boycotts further destroying the economy.

    How long do you have to live here ... (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by cymro on Sat May 15, 2010 at 10:44:55 PM EST
    ... before you start thinking of yourself as a native, and other people as "immigrants"? If I lose a job, chances are the person who gets it is an immigrant, like me -- and most of the other people I know. But then I'm in CA, where we're almost all immigrants. Even my kids, who are only 6th generation Californians. But maybe your ancestors were native New Yorkers before the Dutch arrived, so you feel put out by all the newcomers in your area. I guess that's understandable, it must have been nice when there was a lot more open country in Manhattan.

    Simple (none / 0) (#25)
    by nyjets on Sun May 16, 2010 at 07:15:31 AM EST
    If you are born in this country or if your parents are American citizens, you are a native.

    Let's open it up then (none / 0) (#31)
    by Rojas on Sun May 16, 2010 at 12:18:51 PM EST
    Get rid of the H1 B program and let the market take control. We can start by contracting out all federal, state and municipal services. We should bring real market forces to all decisions regarding employment in this country. If you will do the job and you can get here should be the only criteria. Anything less, is racist and discriminatory.

    Why I don't feel sorry for Arizona (none / 0) (#28)
    by Jen M on Sun May 16, 2010 at 07:54:01 AM EST
    They are using their problem as an excuse to pass a law that infringes on the rights of American-born citizens.

    Not Just American-Born (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by squeaky on Sun May 16, 2010 at 12:03:14 PM EST
    But all humans there who look hispanic. They are criminalizing the civil infraction of being undocumented.

    I am American born (none / 0) (#33)
    by Jen M on Sun May 16, 2010 at 01:50:11 PM EST
    it infringes on all our rights.  Sure, for now it is on the furrin looking people, but tomorrow?

    As the NRA might say "camel, tent, nose"


    Arizona KGB Style (none / 0) (#34)
    by norris morris on Sun May 16, 2010 at 06:59:24 PM EST
    This is not good for the GOP, and it's not good for anyone else.

    Creating State law that infringes on all Americans rights is not the way to control immigration problems.

    Arizona will suffer for this along with everyone else. The KGB couldn't have invented anything as evil and stupid as Arizona's current attack on privacy rights.

    Conventions? Can you see anyone going to Arizona with the exception of outright racist groups?


    The KGB couldn't (none / 0) (#36)
    by mexboy on Mon May 17, 2010 at 06:22:57 AM EST
    But the KKK did.

    You say 'surely' like you know (none / 0) (#15)
    by ruffian on Sat May 15, 2010 at 08:20:32 PM EST
    Got any numbers to back that up? Be sure to offset any expenditures made by the state with money spent in the state by the undocumented workers.

    I guess a lot would depend on whether or (none / 0) (#16)
    by MO Blue on Sat May 15, 2010 at 08:38:04 PM EST
    not your business or your job needed the tourist trade to survive. Also, tourism generates a substantial amount of state and local tax revenue.

    Hotels, restaurants, etc. (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sun May 16, 2010 at 06:59:48 AM EST
    many of the jobs dependent on the tourist trade are the jobs held by the people the boycott pretends it is trying to help. Doesn't seem well thought out, and it certainly isn't well-intended.

    I suppose none of you buy (none / 0) (#12)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat May 15, 2010 at 07:24:40 PM EST
    Citgo gasoline....

    haven't seen one around here (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by Jen M on Sat May 15, 2010 at 08:04:53 PM EST
    see, it really is hard to boycott something you never buy/patronize anyway.

    Painless (none / 0) (#20)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat May 15, 2010 at 10:23:40 PM EST

    That doesn't seem right. To make others suffer and do your bidding you must also suffer.

    Ask any soldier...


    How suddenly sensitive (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by jondee on Sun May 16, 2010 at 12:29:15 PM EST
    to the suffering of others we've become..

    Doesn't seem right..Unless it involves a GOP admin sending soldiers anywhere on the planet..


    Whine whine whine... (2.00 / 1) (#23)
    by Thanin on Sun May 16, 2010 at 02:22:49 AM EST
    Life isn't fair.  Deal with it.

    I am (none / 0) (#29)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun May 16, 2010 at 11:50:18 AM EST
    I support Arizona's position. Why, I have even read the law, unlike our AG and 99% of those against it.

    I don't consider it a boycott (none / 0) (#27)
    by Jen M on Sun May 16, 2010 at 07:50:21 AM EST
    on my part. To me it means I can't participate.