To the Editor:
I would like to preface this by stating I do not want to sound confrontational nor am I picking a fight. I just would like to spark some intelligent conversation about the reopening of Atwood Lodge.
Do we need jobs in Carroll County? Has the lodge played an active and vital role in the county since it opened in the 1960s? Do we believe in free enterprise and open markets? I would think the answers would be yes, yes and yes!
I began my professional experience in hotels (over 20 years) at Atwood shortly after high school so it holds a special place in my heart. It can make money and definitely has made money when run properly by business-minded people as opposed to state entities and non-profit organizations. In my humble opinion, the decision by the MWCD to step aside and the decision by our county commissioners to lease out the property were the right ones as Atwood has huge potential.
I, for one, trust our county commissioners; when approached with an enormous gift, they crossed all the T’s and dotted there I’s. The efforts to secure the Atwood property for this county represent an outstanding achievement and should be applauded. Have you really looked at that hilltop? What an amazing view and it belongs to all of us!
The process to choose a company to lease the property was well-organized and very thorough.
My current boss and I sat through that process in hopes of managing the property. It was a very intense and eye-opening experience. The homework was done and my hat is off to everyone who had a hand in it.
At this point, I think the lodge has been closed for far too long. Radius Hospitality has its work cut out for them but that is what they do. It is the business they are in. They were chosen by our elected officials for their expertise and resources. The tax dollars and money spent by travelers is nothing to underestimate. It is huge! Ask any Monroe Twp. resident about the void that left after Oct. 1, 2010. I do not feel using county money (including the gas bonus or land lease payments) to keep up a county-owned property is unreasonable.
I much prefer the county reap the benefits of those payments as opposed to the MWCD. At least with the county receiving the checks, the potential is there for growth in this area. If the commissioners continue to funnel money toward the upkeep and expansion of the property, the growth will come.
I have one final question. Should we spend tax dollars as our duly-elected officials see fit, or should we spend them addressing the frivolous lawsuit of one taxpayer trying to protect his personal investments? I can vote out commissioners when I disagree with them. All I can do with this short-minded lawsuit is shake my head.