Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Visitors center could be profitable

Visitors center could be profitable

(My Clovis News Journal column for February 6, 2015)

The Texico New Mexico Visitors Center's fate has generated a bit of talk- most of which seems to revolve around trying to convince government to spend confiscated money to re-open it, leaving it in the hands of the very group which fumbled it. Why hand it back to them?

Only the "sunk cost fallacy" sees wisdom in continuing to throw money down a hole when you can stop. The best way to stop, in this case, is to let someone else risk their own money.

I would love to see local individuals take it over and re-open it as a private effort filling the same niche it filled before. Maybe some business owners, or a local investor looking for a project, could get together and pool money to run it. It could be a profitable venture. "Make a profit? From a visitors center?" Instead of burning through money taken out of the economy by coercion, it could be self-sustaining; putting money back into the economy. If you object to people making a profit by providing a service, perhaps you would be happier in North Korea.

Let someone with a plan, and the means to get it running without government handouts, give it a try. Privately run, it would be a net gain, rather than a net drain.

Since the facilities and the land they sit on was bought with "tax" money, it already belongs to the people- as does everything government claims to own. "The people" is not some magical collective- it is every individual whose money has been taken through taxation to finance the facility. Some of those people would undoubtedly do a better job of running it; never again taking money from others against their will for the purpose.

A relative of mine even mentioned what a great RV park it would make, and I think that's a wonderful idea. Without much effort it could easily become the most scenic spot between Texico and Clovis- and it's convenient for all the traffic through the area, too.

Local businesses could pay to have their brochures provided for interested travelers. A variety of tourist trinkets and maps could be sold. A snack bar would be a great addition. It would provide a few jobs and could be a fascinating place to work- as long as the money coming in was all voluntary.

The only real obstacle would be opposition from those calling themselves "the state"- who believe they own it- and those who hate to see anything moved from the government sector to the productive sector. Their objections would be nothing but a case of "sour grapes".


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