Get A Job! That's what the Silhouettes wailed on their 1957 R & B #1 record.
Jobs, especially the lack of them, are a big time conversation in 2015. Yet, in Los Angeles County, Tourism and Hospitality is the fastest growing industry adding more jobs than any other industry!
The Tourism and Hospitality industry employs close to 372,000 people. Los Angeles County had a record breaking 43.4 million visitors with $18 billion in direct spending in 2014. Thirty million of these were overnight visitors and, as a result, hotel occupancy was the highest ever with almost 80% occupancy.
The conversation in Hollywood is that jobs are coming on strong because of the $4 billion development renaissance we are to be experiencing. Even in the lean years, Hollywood always needed hotels and over 1000 new hotel rooms are either on the drawing board or in the construction pipeline.
Unfortunately, an ill-conceived law put a put a halt to an 80 room hotel near the corner of Hollywood Blvd and Western Avenue within walking distance to the Metro station because it's a hotel and not a mixed-use development
The numbers speak for themselves: 80 rooms occupied over 23,000 nights by visitors who want to "discover Hollywood" by going to our restaurants, attractions and who want to "shop till they drop." Jobs, money, taxes that could take care of our town's infrastucture and safety. More important to short term construction jobs are projects that will create permanent jobs that can not only strengthen the economy but change peoples' lives.
And speaking of shopping, the excitement was building with news that a Target serving Hollywood, Los Feliz, Silver Lake and Echo would open this spring at Sunset and Western keeping tax dollars in Los Angele rather than West Hollywood and Glendale. Again a project stalled to due to the provisions of a law not in sync with the needs of a community. Already well underway today it sits empty, its construction workers laid off, future jobs left unfilled.
It's time to step up and speak out and let your political representative know that you want Hollywood to be everything that it could be, everything that 25 million visitors want it to be. And, in the process we'll keep our sales tax dollars at work where we need them.