Beaufort should reject boats as floating hotels

info@islandpacket.comDecember 16, 2012 

The city of Beaufort should reject the "botel" concept of overnight lodging on boats or make the playing field level for all competing bed-and-breakfasts and inns.

Land-based hotels, inns and bed-and-breakfasts are required to pay heavy property taxes to support our city services. They collect accommodations taxes to support our tourism marketing. They comply with noise limitations and are required to provide private parking for their guests. Where will the botel guests park?

These properties also must follow guidelines to look appropriate for a town that is based on historic charm.

These all have costs that must be supported by land-based room rates. Does this botel concept fit or comply with these requirements? Hardly.

If universal rules combined with a cap on the number of rooms per botel are not required, the economic viability of land-based accommodations could be jeopardized. Land-based inns and hotels are as necessary to our city's tourism as museums.

Save our land-based small businesses by encouraging our City Council to vote against opening this can of fishing worms, or make the playing field level.

Jeff Thomas


Editor's note: The writer is owner of the Cuthbert House Inn.

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