Short version: The city is dropping some cash to put up signs all over the place that point to various places of interest like famous restaurants, neighborhoods or attractions. Some are whining about this though when they found out that the signs will only be leading the way to attractions that have paid the city for the sign placement.
There are lots of problems people can, and should, be complaining about, but this isn’t one of them. The whiney business owners need to just shut up and pay for the advertising or don’t. You don’t expect to get free billboards from the city, and you shouldn’t expect to just get on the signs because you think your restaurant is special.
Fritz Clifford Jr. is president of the board at the Campbell House Museum, a preserved mansion from the Gilded Age and another historic downtown landmark. The museum makes less than $200,000 annually, but it would have had to pay more than $27,000 to get listed on the signs.
“The program really seemed geared towards the large organizations,” Clifford said. “You’d really need to have revenue of a million dollars or more to justify this.”
Ok kids. Time for basic economics! The total estimated cost of the signs is said to be $1.7 million dollars. St. Louis doesn’t really have that money to burn since it’s already cutting a police force budget that desperately needs to be raised and paying for city fire fighters to retire just after puberty. So where is the money from the signs going to come from? The same place any advertisement money comes from: the business that wants the advertisement! What?! Why won’t the city give you something for free?! That’s so unfair! We should have free signs so everyone can know where stuff is…oh wait, my car just got stolen. Nevermind. Screw the Campbell House Museum.
In fact, you should know that the commission in charge of the signs, the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission, tried to get the tax payers to foot the bill, but were wisely shot down in there attempt. Finally something we can agree with the city on! …but not quite, because we say they don’t do enough of stuff like this. Go balls out St. Louis City! I see some room on the back of those police uniforms for some NASCAR-like advertiser patches. What about that free zoo everyone loves so much? It would start paying for itself if you let Schuncks start to sponsor the elephant cages. “Oh honey, that giant elephant penis reminds me, we should pick up some tube steak for dinner this week.”
Expect to start seeing the signs popping up around town by June of this year.