As a long time reasonably prominent resident of the area, I have sat quietly as the NIMBY forces have worked to shoot down the plans for the first hotel in Port Washington in a long time. Unfortunately, I can no longer sit by idly as the discourse has become increasingly reactionary and backward thinking. One of my local roles is as the treasurer of The Community Synagogue in Port Washington. We are the largest synagogue on the peninsula, with 640 families, and are about as large as all the other synagogues in the area combined. Each year, about 65 of our families hold a Bar or Bat Mitzvah for their son or daughter. These events draw a large number of out-of-town guests for the weekend (probably 20 - 40 each). Of this number, about two-thirds (or 15 -30) stay in local hotels. It is a disgrace, and a lost business opportunity for local retailers, restaurateurs, and service providers that these out-of -towners must stay at hotels in Roslyn, Great Neck or Garden City. When we add in the other local synagogues and churches that host life cycle events (weddings, funerals, christenings, graduations, etc.), there is a large unmet need to service the out-of-town guests of local residents. Port's economy would also be enhanced by bringing together clubs, organizations and small trade shows in the hotel's meeting rooms. Please don't let the voices of inertia prevent the addition of something that is long overdue - a hotel (of the size proposed) in Port Washington!
Lawrence B. Helft