Pinehurst Resort prez: Too many tourists in town


Tom Pashley, the president of the world-renowned Pinehurst Resort, told The Pinehurst Village Council (right about the 1 hour, twenty minute mark of the video) that too many out of-town tourist types are coming into town. Pashley lamented the alleged parking problems, long waits at restaurants, and long waits for tee times as symptoms of the “over-tourism” problem.  It’s an “imbalance,” according to Pashley.

I wonder what Mr. Dedman, the owner of the resort, thinks about Pashley’s comments.  After all, it is HIS money at stake.

I have to say that it is quite remarkable that the head of a business which relies SO heavily on out-of-town visitors believes this.  I can’t imagine ANY business leader complaining about too many customers or too much business.

I am a full-time Pinehurst resident.  I occasionally patronize the resort’s offerings.  My experience is that what they have to offer is typically overpriced and overrated. 

Pashley told the council his company has “serious concerns about the rapid proliferation of short-term rentals in the village.”   That, in itself, is interesting.  A good chunk of the people staying in those vacation rentals patronize the resort in one way or another: eating at its restaurants, playing on its courses, or buying swag from its souvenir shops.

I’ve long held the suspicion that the Pinehurst Resort is behind this push by John Strickland, Carmine Pizzella, and The Friday Group for an outright ban on short-term rentals.  The resort supplies meeting space to The Friday Group — Strickland and Pizzella’s political operation.  The record shows Strickland and Pizzella have frequent closed-door meetings with Pashley.

Wiping out the short-term rental business in town will result in making the resort, basically, the only “game” in town. It’s basic economics that, when a supply is low, the price goes high.  If the Pinehurst Resort is the only place for tourists to stay in town, Pashley & co. have a good excuse to jack up their room rates.

It sounds like Pashley and The Resort are playing politics to (a) wipe out some of the last small businesses in town, and (b) kill off their competition.

But Pashley said tourists are causing him and his company problems.  So, all of you out there planning family trips or corporate retreats, perhaps you should look to places like Pine Needles or Mid-Pines, Augusta, Savannah, Eagle Point, Myrtle Beach, or other relatively nearby top-of-the-line golf resorts.  I bet they will appreciate you more than Pinehurst does. 

It sounds like Pashley drinks tea with his pinkie in the air like Strickland, Pizzella and their cronies do.