After watching practice at Camp Tontozona with approximately 50 other individuals that were not part of the team, I am reminded of several comments in the paper of how much ASU brings to Payson in the form of money spent as stated by Mayor Kenny Evans. I know it was a Thursday but please give me a break on his quotes of people spending $250,000 a day in Payson on average during the ASU football camp. The camp is great and it is great to have them back in the High Country but please, enough with the exaggerations.
If you read this article: http://www.paysonroundup.com/news/2012/apr/24/tontozona-backers-courted-new-coach/ you will note that the Payson Mayor makes some outrageous comments about the economic impact on Payson. Nobody challenges his numbers and I have determined that he literally pulls this stuff out of thin air. “You’d come into town and find Famous Sam’s absolutely filled, with prominent sports figures everywhere,” said Evans. “They’d (watch) practice all day and hit the hotels, bars and restaurants at night. The place was standing room only.” This statement is a joke. My guess is that he never once went to Famous Sam’s but probably somebody told him that so he went with it. Filled with prominent sports figures?
Read on: Payson backers even convinced ASU this time to focus the August camp on weekdays, when hotels and restaurants more typically struggle for business. Payson only has about 500 hotel rooms, which usually fill up during the peak summer vacation period. Another bold face exaggeration. The camp always ended with a Saturday scrimmage after practicing during the week. Between Mayor Evans and his mouthpiece, the editor of the Roundup, I’m not certain if they don’t live on Fantasy Island. There is no way, ASU focused on weekdays. That is comical at best.
So we put up hankies on light poles to welcome the Sun Devils and most folks did not even know that they exist. After multiple articles, less than 20 people stand at the chamber area and watch the buses roar by on Tuesday without any real fanfare. After multiple cups of coffee with many in Starbucks, not one person saw the hankies on the light poles. That was by all measures a joke.
I am thrilled ASU is back at Tontozona. It is an awesome setting and a great tradition but having Mayor Evans again exaggerate the truth is just to much for me. I’m not sure the Mayor even knows what a football is but he clearly has no economic data to back up his $250,000 a day spent claim. If so, please provide the data which is very easy to get.
Let’s give credit to the real reason ASU is back at Tontozona and that is the White Mountain ASU Alumni association. Most of the people at the camp were from the White Mountains and guess where they ate lunch? Yep, they ate lunch in Christopher Creek, Kohl’s Ranch and places east of Payson. Now that is good for those folks but come on $250,000 spent daily on average in Payson from the camp is ludicrous.
Payson Roundup reporter Max Foster is truly responsible for getting the attention of ASU to return to Tontozona. He has been preaching this since Erickson was fired at ASU. White Mountain ASU Alumni have contacted Max and they clearly have been upset that Mayor Evans seems to get the glory while contributing nothing. $150,000 raised and not a nickel from the Town of Payson. So 5,000 show up for the scrimmage which is fantastic but even if each and every one of them spent $50.00 in Payson on that Saturday, which did not happen, then Mayor Evans clearly is living in the land of OZ.