Voice of the people: Marlies Bearden




Restaurant tax debate puts hosting tennis tournament at risk 


I am sad to see once again that politics is not helping the community for the benefit of its people. It is beyond me to see the logic in why the ceiling, or lack of one should make a difference why our politicians cannot come together with a compromise on our restaurant tax and can allow it to just die. 


As one of the USTA Southern 65 & Over Mississippi Championship tournament co-organizers I would like to express how this decision will affect this event that has been supported by our CVB for the past number of years. This event will bring in over 400 seniors from all over our state and a number from neighboring states. These folks, many of which are retirees, look forward to enjoying this event by staying in the more expensive hotels, like to wine and dine at our finer restaurants and shop in our stores each day. This three day event (which if it continues to grow may have to go to 4 days) will bring in close to half-a-million dollars to our city's economy. 


The growth of this tournament relies on the many volunteers at the Magnolia Tennis Club, a non-profit 501c6 organization. I can give you an ear-full about the many club members who have already devoted so much of their valuable time to prepare for this event. Without the support of the CVB, our main sponsor, and the many other establishments that contribute various other necessary items, this event cannot happen. The quality and hospitality of the tournament has made this event a class act that our city can be very proud of. I invite anyone to come to Magnolia Tennis Club, April 27-29 to watch some tennis and hear all the out of town people make wonderful compliments about Columbus. 


Every two years a tennis club in our state must bid to host this tournament for two consecutive years. I am sad to say that thanks to our saddened state of political maneuvers, this event will probably not be back in Columbus in the near future. 


Marlies Bearden 


Sec. MTC Board of Directors



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