I was once again disappointed by Brian Hicks’ populist rant against
residents of “highfalutin” downtown and their quest for control of the cruise
industry.

I have lived and worked in downtown Charleston for 33 years and seen
the current renaissance of the city and all of the wonderful work that has made
Charleston what it is. The hard work of a lot of citizens has made this
happen.

I have also seen both the positive and negative effects of this
success and the associated influx of visitors. Brian Hicks simplifies the cruise
business argument to one vein — the “haves” don’t want the rest of the
population clogging their neighborhoods.

But he overlooks just how often residents already open these
neighborhoods as well as their residences.

There are spring and fall tours, special events such as the Bridge
Run, Turkey Day Run, Spoleto, Southeastern Wildlife, Wine & Food Festival,
Charleston Fashion Week — just to name a few.

Over the course of a year, innumerable events take place downtown,
all sponsored or supported by residents.

If Mr. Hicks wants to stroll down any downtown street, he is able to. And the reason he might want to do so is the neighborhood’s ambiance and history — neighborhood that was landscaped, restored and maintained by residents at considerable time and expense.

The issue is about control. The peninsula is a finite space, but many
feel that opportunities to put more visitors into the peninsula are endless.
Therefore the number of bodies and traffic need some control before the
peninsula is over-saturated and the quality of living disappears.

The cruise industry needs to be regulated as are all other
tourist-related businesses,

David B. Hoffman
Pitt Street, Charleston