Let’s just do it – we can all do a better job of selling Sunnyside. We can no longer rely on a couple of great parades or an annual street fair to attract visitors to our hometown.

Those who complain about there being nothing to do in Sunnyside – should get their volunteer efforts to work and take part in making the city shine.

The lodging tax is applied to motels, hotels, bed and breakfast and even RV parks to create the funds for signature city events.

The City has budgeted $150,000 in lodging tax revenues for tourism events that are purposely designed to bring travelers to Sunnyside.

In the past, the money has been used to advertise the Christmas parade, Cinco de Mayo, Sunshine Days, as well as sporting events. However, more events are demanded to compliment the diverse character of our community.

We can promote events with Lodging Tax money, but those events need to be able to attract people to downtown, preferably more than once a year.

The creation of Destination Sunnyside was a step in the right direction. It is a committee made up of businesspeople interested in supporting the revitalization of the city.

The opening of downtown farmers market with live entertainment and activities for all ages this year, coupled with a food truck park, was a solid idea which is now a past accomplishment.

We need to encourage innovative ideas to maintain the tourism dollars coming to town - to put “heads in beds” and create additional tax revenues which benefit us all.

We should be advertising our city all over the state, but it’s essential to have dynamic events that bring people to visit our town.

Each of our neighboring towns, host community activities several times a month, bringing out of towners to enjoy art walks, food and music event, harvest festivals, and hot air balloons.

Why can’t we do that here?

Patrick Shelby for the Sunnyside Sun editorial board. PShelby@sunnysidesun.com

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