You know what the best-kept Arizona secret is? Arizona!
I was reminded how ineffectual we have always been selling our state when I saw San Diego's big seduction section in Saturday's Arizona Republic. And San Diego is wisely selling its ocean breezes against our triple-digit temperatures…that's smart. But Arizona is a more attractive, more livable place than most cities, more days of the year than just summer.
Since that's obvious to virtually everyone, why don't we do a better job of telling people? Our state budget for tourism -- the No. 2 industry here -- was about $12 million a year. Compare that with Texas at $34 million, Illinois $48 million and Las Vegas, alone, at $65 million. The state legislative philosophy seems to have always been: You don't have to spend money to attract tourists to sunshine. Oh really? Then explain why Hawaii's tourism budget is around $70 million dollars.
I'm Pat McMahon.