Letter to Mayor Kenney About Reopening
Today the Cultural Alliance, together with the Greater Philadelphia Hotel Association (GPHA), and the Pennsylvania Restaurant & Lodging Association (PRLA), sent a letter to the Mayor Jim Kenney urging the City of Philadelphia to follow the lead of the Commonwealth and set a reopening date for the city.
A full copy of the letter is below.
We will continue to highlight these initiatives and the continued needs within the arts and culture community through our advocacy work. Please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
May 10, 2021
The Honorable James F. Kenney
City of Philadelphia
City Hall, Office 215
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Dear Mayor Kenney:
On behalf of the members of the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance (GPCA), Greater Philadelphia Hotel Association (GPHA), and the Philadelphia-based members of the Pennsylvania Restaurant & Lodging Association (PRLA), we write to request that the City of Philadelphia follow the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s lead and set a reopening date for the city.
While no one disputes your intentions in trying to protect public health, we now must begin to appropriately balance that goal with the devastating economic impact of the city remaining closed. For 14 months, the hospitality and tourism industry, including arts and culture, has put public health and safety first – and rightfully so. But as vaccinations rise, case counts drop and peer cities and surrounding counties reopen, we need a date to work toward so that we are fully prepared to welcome patrons, guests, and diners as soon as restrictions are lifted. Arts and culture institutions, hotels and restaurants need runway to return, hire and retrain staff to deliver a changed experience and ensure the capacity to meet the pent-up demand for leisure travel we know exists.
Most importantly, we need to communicate to the public that Philadelphia will be open. If “this summer starts the beginning of our tourism comeback” as you so emphatically stated at Visit Philadelphia’s press conference, we cannot be at mid-May with no sense of when the City will lift the COVID-19 restrictions.
Philadelphia cannot survive another lost summer, and our interdependent sectors cannot truly come back if Philadelphia is not open in the same way as New Jersey, Delaware, or the collar counties. By continuing to only say, “not yet,” we fear that what the public hears is, “go elsewhere.”
And in a few short weeks, they can – and will, Mr. Mayor.