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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