Chamber Hype Is Merely Hype

Remember all the euphoria coming out of the Chamber of Commerce, Boise State, and the Idaho Tourism Development folks after BSU won the Fiesta Bowl.

There were claims of intense interest on the part of businesses wishing to locate corporate headquarters in Boise, brilliant students standing in line to attend the place with the blue turf…and on and on.

We would sure like to hear how many businesses with high paying jobs actually moved to Boise as a result of that great undefeated football season.

Then the United Airline HEMISPHERES magazine blew into town and took well over half a million dollars–some of it tax money–for a 36 page “Wonderful Boise” layout in the seat back magazine. It was supposed to be “targeted at CEOs” who ride on airplanes.

On our trip to Hawaii over the holidays we happened to fly on United and would you believe after featuring Boise those sneaky devils did a “Wonderful Santa Barbara” 36 page layout aimed at those same CEOs. Wonder how much return we taxpayers will see on that little ploy aimed at increasing the population of the Valley.

Of course when we hear all the reports of Boise/Idaho being in the latest “TOP TEN” of something we wonder why we never hear of the “BOTTOM 10” like the BOISE WEEKLY just reported. We don’t do well in education, health care or other areas.

Finally, if all the publicity for a football team, a cold Humanitarian Bowl, and 36 pages of puff in an airline magazine are good for the economy and the community we ask: How much damage did Larry “Thumper-Widestance” Craig inflict on our state and economy?

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. Mike Reineck
    Dec 31, 2007, 8:51 am

    Hi Dave,
    Looks like giving United Airlines a half million was as effective as cutting Micron and Albertsons taxes to save jobs in the Valley. Some never learn that a corporation is here to take your money and return profits — they are not a social club or social work group.

    Speaking of rankings, after reading some of our revered state legislators quotes from the BW, I wonder how Idaho’s House and Senate ranks in IQ compared to the other 50 states.

    After trying but failing to find the Boise Weekly piece on how low Idaho ranks on various social scales.
    I have long hoped for such a more balanced view than the local PR flacks churn out.

  2. Guardian, you must have missed “beautiful; Baltimore, Austin, Ft. Worth, Denver, Vallejo, Columbus” and all the other wonderful places UAL serves.
    The only way the chamber could justify this is if they started the process by saying ” how could we spend the taxpayers, and some of our members, money in the most meaningless way possible?”
    The cool thing about this process is that there is no way to evaluate it’s success or failure. The same way there is no way to evaluate Kustra’s claims of all the benefits to BSU as a result of last years success in football. In fact, the only measure of success for BSU is who signed a letter of intent to play on the “smurf-turf”. There certainly has been a measure of success in that area.
    So, No, there has been no tangible benefit from the article (paid advertisement) or the “game”.
    There also has been no detrimental effect to the people of Idaho as a result of Sen. Craig’s idiocy!
    In my opinion, the good rev. Butler (may his soul rot in hell) did FAR more damage to our reputation than Larry ever could have.
    P.S. Why on earth would you fly United? One of the worst airlines ever!

  3. Mike Murphy, Bull Moose Tenor
    Dec 31, 2007, 9:48 am

    “A Fool and His Money…”

    Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha!

    Only problem is, it’s OUR money.

    Boo – Hoo – Hoo – Hoo…..

    : (

  4. Been There Done That
    Jan 1, 2008, 12:08 am

    Having worked for the Commerce Dept and knowing the Boise Chamber I have $10 bucks that says they have NO IDEA what the return is and if they say they do the numbers are made up.

    The only one that “won” in this deal is United Airlines.

  5. Hey, if you were a big CEO of a huge company, wouldn’t you want to move your whole operation to Boise or Moscow (either Moscow) or Nairobi or Tucson or whatever town had the best football game that year? Jeeze, what else would an intelligent CEO even consider in deciding whether or whither to relocate, eh???

    As for the mag article: Heck, more people read The Boise Guardian than read those in-flight mags (most people are too busy working on some project of their own, or sleeping, or praying for that metal tube to hold together ’til they get out of it alive to bother reading the magazines. So the CofC, city etc., should give their next spare half a mil to this blog.
    Mr. Guardian then could throw one helluva party for all us loyal readers, and certainly do the city at least as much good as the airline mag article did. (And we’d promise not to then turn around and promote other cities and blogs — well, unless they also threw us some really good parties).

  6. Boise Banker
    Jan 2, 2008, 9:06 am

    Although half a million seems like a lot of money to you and I, in terms of government spending this is so far down on the radar it is laughable. Half a million will only buy curbs, gutters and sidewalk for about one mile on one side of a road. Much more money is being wasted elsewhere within the government system. We should be focused on that. It is like tripping over dollars to pick up dimes.

    How else are we (meaning Treasure Valley) going to get the word out about the cities in our area to potential new companies? Advertising is a tried and true means of getting your name in front of potential clients. Or perhaps no business (city) needs new customers (jobs). Maybe the 20-30k people who will be without a job because of the housing downturn won’t mind not having a job for the next 2-3 years, because we can’t pony up some ad money.

    Is it the most effective use of funds maybe, maybe not but it is sure better than doing nothing. I came from a town in Magic Valley with the attitude of do nothing, spend nothing and the city has lost over 1800 jobs and half the city lives in poverty without jobs. The city still does nothing and its problems are only getting worse. Think about it on a logical level. They spent about 75 cents per person in the valley to make the ad. Maybe they should have spent 41 cents on postage, 10 cents on the envelope and mailed us all back 24 cents.

    I too would like to see the funds being used more effectively but at least they are trying to do something right and it costs us so little it is laughable; besides most of the money is coming from businesses and dues, not us personally. Job diversity is something this valley desperately needs and unless somehow businesses can be convinced to come and have some aspect of their operations here we will not have the job growth needed to sustain the valley. If you want to change how the money is allocated then talk to BVEP and tell them you’d rather see the money used in other ways. Or better yet pay your $5000 a year to join BVEP and vote with your money.

  7. The Banker is right. Lets spend more money (regardless of where it comes from) to generate more Idaho low pay jobs so we can fill the 7000 vacant homes for sale in the valley that the lending industry created and might soon own. I like how that works. We just spend and promote our way out of this mess. Kind of like spreading democracy by surging. This idea might just work in Iraq too.

  8. Boise Banker
    Jan 7, 2008, 9:06 am

    No argument that mortgage brokers, realtors and builders all caused their own problems over the last 5 years. I have no sympathy toward any of it.

    The jobs that the Chamber of Commerce and BVEP are attracting are mostly higher paying jobs, not minimum wage. Save that for McDonalds and Starbucks. Computer networking and programming requires less education that mine did for banking but they do make more than I do. They start at or just above the median household income for the valley. That sounds pretty good to me.

    Go ahead and be cynical, some of it is well deserved by the politicos, but why not try and come up with some solutions instead of whining about they way things are?

  9. Well, I don’t know if shelling out 500k was worth it but I am really surprised Santa Barbara is looking for CEOs. Maybe to live there. Santa Barbara is not a place for business unless your business is serving the wealthy that live there. I haven’t seen either article but I have doubt that Santa Barbara was looking for business or hyping up their great biz climate.

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