LETTER: Tourists need more to do on weekends

Published 7:42 pm Saturday, July 15, 2017

Dear Editor,

Bus traffic is a common sight now in Selma, particularly on Water Avenue where the number one stop is the Selma Interpretive Center.

They will rarely venture further to add their dollars to the community, although the staff at the center have been generous in recommending places to eat for smaller groups.

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However, Saturdays is a different animal altogether. Individual tourists from Australia to Germany, from Canada to America’s west coast and everywhere in-between are coming to Selma to see all the sites they can and spend their dollars in our restaurants, shops and art galleries.

Last Saturday, the sandwich shop was full but only three of those tables were locals.

The visitors are wonderful but seem to have a common problem: most of the Selma museums are closed on Saturdays.

For instance, the Vaughan-Smitherman Building was only open on the first floor last Saturday according to some tourists, the Old Depot is not open on Saturdays, the voting rights and slavery museums, I think, are by appointment because many days they are closed. I am not sure about Sturdivant’s hours.

If the city wants to improve the tourist experience, perhaps it needs to reassess hours of operation of city owned buildings. Too many tourists leave a little disappointed.

On a different note, perhaps the city can designate bus lane parking areas. The large vehicles continually struggle to find a place to park after dropping off their passengers at the Interpretive Center, often parking in the alley at the St. James which is tight (and they back in holding up traffic) or taking up regular vehicle parking spaces on Water Avenue and Washington Street.

Dianne Smitherman

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