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  #1  
Old Posted Oct 17, 2019, 2:28 AM
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America's small cities being overrun by tourists

Overrun by Tourists, American Cities Are Taking Aim at Hotels

Places such as Charleston, S.C., Asheville, NC, and Portland, Maine, are starting to feel pressure after a decade-long boom in tourism.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/artic...un-by-tourists


A new hotel going up in Charleston’s French Quarter. PHOTOGRAPHER: EVA VERBEECK/BLOOMBERG

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- U.S. tourism has enjoyed a robust run for a decade. The travel industry has grown for 116 consecutive months, according to the U.S. Travel Association. Meanwhile, the supply of hotel rooms has expanded by about 12% in the past decade.

- Certain markets have grown far faster, including Nashville, where the number of rooms is up 32% since 2009, as well as Charleston and the North Carolina mountain retreat of Asheville, up 23% and 21%, respectively.

While European destinations such as Venice and Barcelona are famously overrun, some of America’s small historic cities are starting to buckle from a prolonged boom in tourism—and rightly or wrongly, locals are directing some of their anger at hoteliers.

- Four hours away from Charleston, city leaders in Asheville just passed a moratorium on hotel construction that could last for a year. The Martian landscape around tiny Moab, Utah, has lured so many adventure-seekers that the city temporarily stopped accepting new lodging applications amid concerns hotels were edging out housing and offices.

- Developers feel unjustly singled out. Jim Brady is trying to develop a 135-room hotel in Portland, Maine, where city leaders recently required new hotels to pay into an affordable housing fund, arguing that hospitality workers are being priced out.

- In Charleston, a decades-long effort to nurture tourism without spoiling the city’s 350-year-old heritage reached a boiling point recently. Former Mayor Joseph Riley presided over the “Holy City” for 40 years until 2016, and since then the city’s politics have been rife with infighting, locals say. Mayor John Tecklenburg campaigned on a pledge to temporarily halt new hotel construction as a candidate in 2015 and continued the fight upon taking office.
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  #2  
Old Posted Oct 17, 2019, 12:59 PM
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I think Asheville reached the breaking point when a plan to turn the Flatiron Building, home to dozens of offices, including several non-profits, into a hotel was brought before the city council and approved. All those organizations and offices are out on their ass, and people are not happy about it. Meanwhile, fully three percent of the housing stock in Asheville is given over to Airbnb rentals, the highest percentage in the country, while fully half of the renters in Buncombe County are rent-burdened and pay more than a third of their income on rent. And meanwhile, a city of about 93,000 and the infrastructure to serve it, continue to also serve an estimated eleven million tourists per year. Asheville is rapidly being loved to death.
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Old Posted Oct 17, 2019, 1:07 PM
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I've been a tourist to all 3 of those cities. I haven't been to Asheville since the 1990s though.

Portland doesn't really struggle with the crowds though, it's easy to fly in to Portland, or drive up from Boston, or take the train from Boston. It's the points north of Portland that struggle.

Mid-Coast Maine in the summer is pretty awful, with heavy traffic all piled up on a 2 lane highway - US 1.

https://goo.gl/maps/c3B7vuzBV4J6UNzd6
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Old Posted Oct 17, 2019, 1:26 PM
eschaton eschaton is offline
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Limiting the construction of new hotels in the era of Airbnb seems idiotic, quite honestly. It's the same rationale that people use to oppose new high-cost residential buildings, which ultimately causes more people to be gentrified out of historic units of housing.

Ultimately, I just don't think there's a good way to limit tourism in smaller, picturesque cities with nice seasonal weather and walkable downtowns.
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Old Posted Oct 17, 2019, 1:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
Limiting the construction of new hotels in the era of Airbnb seems idiotic, quite honestly.
Seems pretty effective to me. The Hamptons have essentially banned new hotels for 50 years, and there are strict limits on Airbnb, and so have restricted tourism to the wealthy.

Not saying this is best from a public policy perspective, but it has certainly worked. It's quite easy to restrict tourism.
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Old Posted Oct 17, 2019, 1:44 PM
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There are like a dozen small American cities overrun by tourists, because they are tourist attractions. The vast majority are not. And it’s not nearly as bad in Charleston or Asheville as it is in hundreds of small European cities.
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  #7  
Old Posted Oct 17, 2019, 5:51 PM
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Been to all three cities..plus Moab within past few years and the key is to go off season. Moab and Coastal Maine (along with NH and MA) are absolutely horrible peak season.
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Old Posted Oct 17, 2019, 6:24 PM
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Key West residents fighting chamber of commerce types over giant cruise ships over-running the island:

https://www.miamiherald.com/latest-n...le1955604.html
Quote:
Key West draws a line in the water over a wider cruise-ship harbor
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  #9  
Old Posted Oct 17, 2019, 6:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dave8721 View Post
Key West residents fighting chamber of commerce types over giant cruise ships over-running the island:

https://www.miamiherald.com/latest-n...le1955604.html
Plus, cruise ship tourists are obnoxious as fuck. They zero in on the tackiest/ cheesiest shops and then get drunk at kitschy chain restaurants that are at every stop.
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Old Posted Oct 17, 2019, 8:58 PM
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Silly and inaccurate title on the thread. More accurately: several small tourist cities have lots of tourists.

In other news, LA has tons of cars.
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Old Posted Oct 17, 2019, 9:56 PM
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don’t like crowds, go further. most nice places in the west are not crowded, even drop dead gorgeous coastal towns. i spent time in a town that felt like a fucking art film with one pub and one store in northern california...i have no need for putting up with fucking tourist crowds in america. plenty of space...

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Old Posted Oct 17, 2019, 10:04 PM
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Sounds like a typical summer day in a few hundred different small cities around Europe.
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  #13  
Old Posted Oct 17, 2019, 10:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Centropolis View Post
don’t like crowds, go further. most nice places in the west are not crowded, even drop dead gorgeous coastal towns. i spent time in a town that felt like a fucking art film with one pub and one store in northern california...i have no need for putting up with fucking tourist crowds in america. plenty of space...

I agree.

Solvang, CA
Montecito, CA
Santa Cruz, CA
Monterey, CA
Big Sur, CA

etc. - so many great spots out West.
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  #14  
Old Posted Oct 17, 2019, 10:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JAYNYC View Post
I agree.

Solvang, CA
Montecito, CA
Santa Cruz, CA
Monterey, CA
Big Sur, CA

etc. - so many great spots out West.
gualala, elk, westport, philo, shelter cove (mendocino county) those are my speed.
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Old Posted Oct 19, 2019, 11:32 PM
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In SoCal, Laguna Beach is overrun by tourists in summer, especially during the late summer Festival of Arts. But so far no pressure to restrict hotels. La Jolla near San Diego and Coronado are also crowded. Santa Monica is too but NINBYs do keep most new construction away.
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Old Posted Oct 19, 2019, 11:45 PM
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Lots of American cities could use more tourists, this is a good thing
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Old Posted Oct 19, 2019, 11:59 PM
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The parallels of this thread to NIMBYism is astounding, except here we have woke urbanists, complaining about people and crowds in desirable locations, compared to UnWoke NIMBYs complaining about the same exact thing.

Isn't that amazing, gang?

People that want to go to a desirable place are ruining it for all those other people that also want to visit that same desirable place.

Man. Alive. Woke.
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  #18  
Old Posted Oct 20, 2019, 12:20 AM
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louisville has become a bigger destination for me since nashville sort of has become a bit much.
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Old Posted Oct 20, 2019, 2:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dc_denizen View Post
Lots of American cities could use more tourists, this is a good thing
Tour-ists?
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  #20  
Old Posted Oct 20, 2019, 2:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaliNative View Post
In SoCal, Laguna Beach is overrun by tourists in summer, especially during the late summer Festival of Arts. But so far no pressure to restrict hotels. La Jolla near San Diego and Coronado are also crowded. Santa Monica is too but NINBYs do keep most new construction away.
Just came back from Laguna Beach. That place is amazing.
And yes, overrun by tourists.

It def seemed more bustling than my last visit.

Santa Monica is easily the most chaotic of the one's mentioned though. Nimbys or not, downtown Santa Monica on the weekends is insane, and seems as if it's getting busier each time I go. The Expo line has helped getting those crowds there, for sure.
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