This puts the "idiots" in I’m Surrounded By Idiots.

The Free Lance-Star: Caroline seeking to boost tourism:

Caroline County expects more than 200,000 tourists will stop by annually once its visitor center opens at Carmel Church this August.

Based on what study?

They’re saying that 547.9 people a day are going to go to the visitors center!

They’re saying that eight times the county’s population will go every year!

How many of these people are just going to go in, go to the bathroom, and leave? How much money is that going to cost? This is going to drive customers away from McDonald’s and Burger King which actually bring money into the county!

So Caroline administrations are preparing by taking applications for the county’s first full-time tourism manager, a position that will probably be filled this month.

“By starting now, they can help get that space in working order so when the public comes they can have a wonderful experience,” said Gary Wilson, Caroline’s economic development director.

Caroline currently has a tourism director, who also manages the county’s tourism Web site. So far, about 65 people have applied for the additional manager position, which will pay between $36,145 and $54,468, plus benefits.

Whoever is hired will not only manage the $2.4 million, 5,000-square-foot center just off Interstate 95, but also help promote such attractions as the State Fair, which opens next year at The Meadow, birthplace of Triple Crown winner Secretariat.

Remember this when the county says they have to borrow money and raise your taxes to pay for a school! They had plenty of money for the visitors center!

There’s some serious money per square footage too:

Visitors Center: $2,400,000 / 5,000 square feet = $480 per square foot

Ladysmith Elementary School: $19,800,000 / 100,000 square feet = $198 per square foot

County Administration Building: $3,700,000 / 18,150 square feet = $204 per square foot

Of course, the county administration building will only hold 20 full-time personnel.

“The State Fair is not just two weeks a year, which is what most people think,” Watson said. “It will be doing fun things all the time.”

Uh…I’m going to assume that’s supposed to be “Wilson”; but I demand a correction nevertheless! :)

Really, what are the State Fair grounds going to do when the Fair isn’t going?

Hasn’t Fredericksburg resorted to subsidizing the Expo Center in Fredericksburg?

Other Caroline County attractions include the 40,000-square-foot Virginia Sports Center, a popular venue for youth sports tournaments; Pendleton and Mattaponi Springs golf courses; and the historic town of Bowling Green, which is near where Lincoln assassin John Wilkes Booth was killed.

What about the Four Winds Club’s Public Golf Course? It always seems that Port Royal is forgotten about (heck, Calvin Taylor took credit for Pendleton and Mattaponi Springs as the first golf courses in the county when Four Winds has been here for decades!).

What historic tourism events are there in Bowling Green? I can’t think of any. The Old Mansion is a bed and breakfast and isn’t open to the public.

The only historic site that I can think of is the Jackson Shrine (hey, isn’t that in the Port Royal district, too?).

There’s the Lyceum that hasn’t been restored in Port Royal too. There’s the two surviving chimneys of Dorothy Roy’s home. None of the historic structures in Port Royal are open to the public that I’m aware. All the old homes are currently occupied.

Uh…John Wilkes Booth was killed a heck of a lot closer to Port Royal than Bowling Green. Too bad the visitors center is on the other side of the county! Besides, all there is to see where Booth was killed is a sign by the road…

Looks like the visitors center was built in the wrong part of the county!

Wilson said there’s no way to predict the economic impact the new tourism manager and visitor center will have, but he expects the county will see an uptick in meals- and lodging-tax revenues. They’ll also make it easier to recruit new tourist attractions, as well as other businesses, since his office will move from Bowling Green to the center.

“Of course not, we can’t predict how much money this will waste.” Or as Jeff Sili has said, “[t]he Visitor Center does not have to be just a fancy office for Wilson and a way to move county employees out of our county seat to further undermine the business climate”.

I guess Gary Wilson needs a pretty nice office to spend time editing Wikipedia.

“I-95 is like a river with money rolling through it,” he said. “We need to be able to dip into that river and bring that money into the county. We’ve never had an opportunity to do that before.”

7 Comments

  1. TJ says:

    “I-95 is like a river with money rolling through it,” he said. “We need to be able to dip into that river and bring that money into the county. We’ve never had an opportunity to do that before.”

    Isn’t the county getting tax money from every gallon of fuel pumped at the truck stops?

    Along with food, gifts, repairs, etc?

    Sounds to me like the visitors center is a way to throw hard earned taxpayers money into the “I95 river.”

    I know it’s an investment in the future of Caroline………………

    Maybe they can find a way for these same businesses they are promoting to finance the cost of the Visitors Center and pay the citizens back, since these same businesses will be reaping most of the so called benefit.

    How many millions is the State Fair already costing Taxpayers of the county and state, with that number rapidly growing? How long will it take for the county and state to even break even?

    You nailed the title on this post Timothy!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. TJ says:

    And let’s not forget this important FACT.

    Caroline has no utilities, schools, or for that matter functional government.

    The Meadow development is only made possible by the the limited use of Hanover County’s utilities.

    And speaking of utilities Hanover is getting 3 New motels next to the 7/11 at Kings Dominion. So much for spurring economic development in Caroline……………..

    I personally think that is wonderful and hope Caroline never gets enough sense to know how to develop.

    Hint BOS and County Government: Business needs water, sewer, high speed internet access, etc. in order to locate in Caroline. Oh yeah, reliable and adequate public safety.

    Hmmm, what a concept huh? “Build it and they will come” as our new BOS wife likes to say. If the infrastructure and government competence is there the businesses will not need to be “conned”/ “Visitors Center into coming to a location. They will fight each other at the chance to get there. But what do I know?

    But when you have con artists running the government, what do they know about professionalism………..It’s like a foreign language to them.

  3. TJ says:

    How has Hanover been so successful without a visitors center?

  4. WhatThe? says:

    i’m a transplant into this ignorant caroline county FROM hanover county…..the things we do for love! this county is vested in pure ignorance. they cannot seem to rise above their trailer park mentality. hey…..if they’d forget about the stupid visitors center, and the state fair….and just build huge single-wide trailer parks……THEY WILL COME! BELIEVE ME, THEY’LL HAVE A WAITING LIST IN A MATTER OF A WEEK> you can’t change this county…..its the people.

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