Thursday, June 06, 2013
The Eureka Springs West Tourism Association (ESWTA), located in western Carroll County, Arkansas, is a professional organization whose purpose is to promote tourism and support the business health of our members. We represent over 50 businesses, all tourism-based, and have been in operation since 2000.
Eureka Springs West and the City of Eureka Springs are major contributors to tourism dollars in Northwest Arkansas, and Carroll County is typically the fifth or sixth largest contributor to the state tourism tax of 75 Arkansas counties.
It is our belief that the proposed SWEPCO 345 kV transmission line, which would traverse or be near the properties of ESWTA business members, would pose great economic hardship on these businesses and have a seriously detrimental impact on tourism in the general area by:
- Affecting the natural beauty of the White River, Beaver Lake and surrounding valleys and Ozark Mountains.
- Diminishing attractiveness of cultural and tourist attractions such as the Blue Spring Heritage Center, Inspiration Point Overlook, the Opera in the Ozarks at Inspiration Point and Thorncrown Chapel.
- Threatening ecological health of the White River, its fish and its watershed.
- Destroying irreplaceable scenic acres of forested habitat and creating a hugely scarred landscape.
- Harming additional natural features that create an extensive appeal for visitors to this area.
- Making our outdoor activities and lodging locations less attractive to tourists, thus reducing income to ESWTA members. Through business damage caused by this reduced tourism and depreciation of property values, this power line would affect not only the local economy but would adversely affect that of the state and county as well.
Therefore, the Eureka Springs West Tourism Association strongly opposes the construction of any SWEPCO high-voltage transmission line through Eureka Springs West and the City of Eureka Springs.
Eureka Springs West Tourism Association Board of Directors May 30, 2013
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