Hi SPIW members,
We are posting to ask for help in addressing an issue we are having here on South Padre Island (SPI).
There is a Hotel chain on the island that has "Partnered" up with a new business called USKiteboarder Association (USKA) to bring people to the island and teach them kiteboarding for free. They are creating a business model to book specific hotel rooms and then offer free unlimited kiteboarding lessons with each room.
As you all know we are a small island community that receives destination kiters and windsurfers during our 2 main windseasons. The USKiteboarder Association (who charges $49 for an annual membership) does business out of the state of Washington and is the acting booking agent to book the hotel rooms here and then are offering the "unlimited free" kiteboarding lessons with each hotel room. They then turn around and hire an out of state (non-local) school to teach these lessons. We want you to know that this is a big blow to our local kiting community and businesses. We already have several local schools whose owners and employees all live here and contribute to the community and fight each day to keep our kiting accesses open and 1 non-locally owned school.
Petra and I both work for the one and only shop that fully supports SPIW. The above business model specifically hurts us since we are trying to make a living here year round with the windy season being the only time we can actually pay our bills. We also have been involved with the SPIW club for many, many years. So having more non-local business entities invade us like this hurts us financially and also puts our local sites in danger. We personally (and the Club) have always felt that if a school or even another retailer comes here with their local group for a special event or gathering then we are more than happy to help them out since this helps SPI and SPIW as well. We have encouraged and have worked with such groups from Minnesota, New Jersey and many other states all the time. But for an out of state retailer/school working with an out of state based company coming here for up to 4 months at a time and reaping the rewards of our yearly hard work to promote and protect sites on SPI is unacceptable to us. Just realize that at any time they have a mishap, they can pack up and leave us with a mess.
So we are writing to ask for your help.
The best way to do this for kiters is to not join the USKiteboarder Association and for all of the members to boycott the 3 hotels that are tied to this endeavor. They are the Hilton Garden Inn, La Quinta and La Copa Inn. All three of these hotels are owned by the same person who has partnered with the USKA.
We hope you'll understand our point of view and will not support these businesses.
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