Chamber Speaks Out
Last updated 4/10/2017 at 8:15am
At the Annual Chamber Breakfast meeting, Patrick Sampson found himself giving an impromptu speech to the listening crowd. He delivered a message that is echoed by many.
"I can't say enough about Linda Haddock, she is the Chamber of Commerce, she has elevated Borrego Springs on to a community map, on to a statewide map and an international story in Europe, where Borrego Springs is in the trade magazines. It is used at every trade show by 'Visit California' in a multi-million dollar venture that hotels, restaurants and anything connected to tourism in California contributes to and it's, I guess, industry funded. Borrego Springs has been able to take on or attract a tremendous influence in that organization. The Europeans we have coming in later next month, whenever the New Zealanders and British journalists are coming through here, that all happens because of 'Visit California' and this in-road we have found in to that organization.
There's a lot of criticism over the Borrego Days event.
This town has suffered immensely through economic slow down and everybody's been fighting for their share of the birthday cake.
The biggest contributors are on one part, ignored. The people such as my owners and the owners of other businesses in this town, basically, they're getting tired and we have a debt to those people who have kept this town going for the last five to ten years. We need to applaud them, we need to praise them and more importantly we need to thank them.
The short fall in funding that this chamber went through is not of great concern to me as we can make that up in some fashion, down the road this year. We can make changes as we have done, and will be announcing shortly. It might make Borrego Days bigger, it might make it more interesting, more participatary on the part of the public, but we can change to accomodate the current economies. The fact that everybody, all those grand contributors to the events, their doors are being knocked on by more and more and more charitable and social organizations. We were hit by a short fall, an acceptable response by those people, saying 'hey, we don't feel appreciated enough. We aren't recognized enough.' People would walk in, knock on their door, ask for money, receive the funding and walk down the street and knock on the next persons door. We need to change as a community. We're going to change the organization of the Borrego Days celebration.
If anyone thinks they are going to make their annual profit over a two day weekend, they are sorely mistaken. The whole reason for Borrego Days, the oompah, the bands, the marchers, our friends the politicians in town, the vehicle shows, Christmas Circle, a beautiful environment to hold one of these. The whole point, the whole reason is that we are getting the Europeans in, we're getting the New Zealanders and the Australians, we got the brits and the Irish in. This is the start of a new adventure. This is where we are going.
I'm not here to make money from Borrego Days, I'm six miles from it. So I could stand up and stomp my feet and moan and groan about how I'm not getting my share of the food and beverage, I'm not getting any of my share of the hotel guests, because they're all drive in people who block our streets and don't eat my food. I don't give a darn about about who the people are who would attend the Borrego Days even. I want the people here . I want the 100,000 more people to hear about Borrego Springs, and the reason we are here, the Anza-Borrego Desert.
This is what the goal is about for Borrego Days. And the volunteers, the hours, the weeks, the months that they put in to the planning of that event, it's a down right insult that they aren't put on podiums and praised in the same way as the people who contribute the dollars required to keep it going.
So everybody is a hero and the Borrego Days venture is not a moment to make a buck. It's bigger than that. It's a marketing platform and we have shown the success of where we have been going, thanks to Linda Haddock and the other participants.
We are now on a world-wide platform. We are on a statewide platform and certainly, San Diego County has heard of us. Heck, even Coachella Valley now respects us.
So we've got a long way to go but we've come a long, long way.
'$30,000 in the hole? Disgusting, terrible, what is wrong with you people? Who's spending all the money? Who gave all the dollars to the marketing company? Who had the audacity to think of porta potties and that the chamber should pay for them?' I mean hey, it's all in a days work. Certainly for Linda, the board of directors, the chamber and for every Borregan, that we take and give every opportunity to get ourselves on the map.
But there's that group of people. NIMBY's - Not In My BackYard. 'I want to attend and I take my beer and my cooler, I take my place on the main stretch of Borrego', and all we do is complain, moan and groan, and the incessant wailing at the wall. Spread your wings, come home to Borrego. Share our wealth, share what this desert means to us as well as to the community and to the state of California. They've recognized our significance more than some of our local folks.
It's not a moment to make your dime for the year, it's the moment to get ourselves on the map."