I have been complaining for years that Newburyport has been depending for far too long on Brigadoon Tourists. In the Broadway play, a mystical Scottish village with all its charm would disappear and then re-appear. Only a chance hiker or hunter would stumble on all its beauty.
Newburyport has a great number of people who, on their way elsewhere, stumbled into this magical City and immediately, as the Chamber says, "Love at first sight." Apparently we ended up with a great number of New Age followers who firmly believed that if we built it, ‘they’ would come. Unfortunately, they aren’t coming enough if no one knows we exist! Pick up a regional tourist magazine, pick up Conde Naste or Travel & Leisure or watch the Travel Channel. Gaze into the National Historic Trust’s Preservation Magazine. There is nothing on Newburyport.
You can get mad at me. (For telling the truth) or you can do something about it. Well, the Greater Newburyport Area Cultural Heritge Assessment project group did the third. They just ignored my complaints with a knowing smile that they were doing something to rectify the situation.
Now they call themselves Around Newburyport and have prepared a campaign called 25 reasons to stay in Newburyport. As common sense and surveys have indicated, people who stay overnight here spend more. But they won’t bother to plan on an overnight if there is nothing to do!
Mind you this is not a criticism but after reading the 25 reasons to stay, I thought up without even trying 25 more reasons! How about the Cushing House Museum, Perkins Mint, the Custom House, the Newburyport Lighthouse Restaurant, the other lighthouse on Plum Island, the Whale Boat and the catamarand, it just keeps on going. After staying overnight in Rockport this last spring, I realize that we have a smorgasbord of activities.
My hearty support for the Around Newburyport effort!