Organizations Work Together to Bring More Visitors


Recently the Archway in Kearney filed for bankruptcy protection to reorganize its financial situation.

Some of the problem is a lack of visitors, but other organizations also find their visitor numbers drop during certain times which is why they work together to help attract more people to the area.

The Stuhr Museum in Grand Island says they share a similar struggle as the Archway, when gas prices go up interstate 80 traffic and potential out of state visitors decreases.

"But we see the folks that are closer to home taking closer, more often short trips during the summer," said Executive Director of the Stuhr Museum Joe Black.

Which has kept visitor numbers to the Stuhr fairly strong through the recession.

Black says bringing tourists to the area is something many organizations work on together.

"The more that we have here in Central Nebraska to appeal to many different things. Like the crane trust Stuhr Museum the water parks we have here in the tri-cities," said Black.

Because its those paying customers that help keep attractions open and in the black.

"For attractions in the area the life blood is a good stream of steady people using the facility," said Grand Island Hall County Convention & Visitors Bureau Executive Director Brad Mellema.

Often times if one organization is holding an event, others will hold a complementary one.

"The more diverse things you have to offer the public, the more of a better chance you have of getting them to come stay and do more," said Black.

Meanwhile, Mellema says its not all about out of state visitors, local support means a lot too.

"Not everyone that walks through the door is going to be a supporter, but a number of those folks might become volunteers, financial contributors," said Mellema.


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