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Tourism Push in Buena Park

March 15, 1987

With respect to Roxana Kopetman's fine article on Buena Park versus tourism (Feb. 16), I should like to offer some private opinions as a resident of Buena Park.

I see my city as a dichotomy of interests that forces many residents to maintain silence. Business interests in the heart of the city appear to be pressuring some members of the City Council to expand tourism at all costs. This has soured at least a few local residents, who have witnessed the coming and going of a number of businesses in our community. Hotels have popped up everywhere, and the number of vacant rooms in hotels and restaurants in Buena Park may be worthy of investigation.

If in fact Buena Park is not competing directly with Anaheim for convention business, then why transform the community into a hotel haven? Are most residents in favor of the hotel skyline?

I would suggest that Buena Park seek out the convention market that seems to be attracted to other communities in Orange County for reasons other than the proximity of tourist features such as Knott's Berry Farm or Disneyland. Local organizations would be eager to hold their workshops and one-day conferences in Buena Park if hotels there welcomed such groups.

Buena Park missed the boat 10 years ago in not recognizing the value of sponsoring development of a new landmark in the form of an adequate theater that would attract audiences from near and far. Undoubtedly, the new Performing Arts Center in Costa Mesa will attract tourists to that corner of the county, and a similar following may well appear in Anaheim when that city's new theater opens for business.

SHELDON J. KARLAN

Buena Park

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