As stories of boycotts over Arizona's controversial new immigration law and the potential impact on convention business make the rounds, the harsh reality is even one boycott is too many for an area still reeling from the economic and real estate disaster of the last 24 months. The shame of the matter is the hotels and their owners and staff had nothing to do with the law, so organizations and associations boycotting meetings at such properties are penalizing innocent bystanders the most.
I was at the Elite Meetings Alliance in Los Angeles earlier this week and talked to several directors of sales from some of the top luxury resorts in and around Phoenix and Scottsdale and every one said they'd already had at least one cancellation, and several other events were on hold or in limbo. All agreed business had finally started to pick up after the recession left the area one of the hardest hit, and the latest setback over the immigration law was the last thing Arizona hospitality and tourism needed.
And as Ed Watkins wrote last week, kudos to AAHOA and the AHL&A for their efforts to fight talks of boycotts.