Road trip news, rants, and ruminations by the Editors of RoadsideAmerica.com
March 29, 2009
If a tourist attraction succeeds, thrives, and endures long enough, it accumulates a storeroom full of old brochures and souvenirs. While many owners toss yesteryear’s marketing into the trash and merchandise into the 25 cent bins, some hold onto their creations. They open a “museum” about the attraction’s past, to put tourists in the proper respectful frame of mind. “This isn’t just a hole in the ground (or a pond full of ladies in fish tails) — it’s history!”
Take, for example, this wonderful grinning Father Dobber-Stein, modeled on the Grotto’s creator, Father Paul Dobberstein. We can’t recall if it really was a souvenir, or if it was just some presentation tribute that was awarded to the worthy — you haul a hundred tons of rock for the Grotto, you get a mug. Even if that was its original purpose, however, there’s no excuse for it not to be available as a souvenir; to exist only in a glass case, taunting visitors.
How much income are attractions throwing away by not keeping their greatest keepsakes in stock?
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