Alpine City Council Vote Shuts Down Visitor’s Center

Alpine City Council Vote Shuts Down Visitor’s Center

The Alpine City Council voted to shut down the Alpine Visitor’s Center. The Avalanche reports on it here.

In my opinion, this is a misstep. The visitor’s center serves a vital purpose for the small businesses that rely on it. Alpine is less competitive than its neighbors now.

For the investment of a cup of coffee and a shady place to sit, the visitors there will gladly pick up brochures and guides touting local businesses. In my mind, this is a very cost-effective use of the hotel/motel funds because it demonstrates the friendliness and hospitality that West Texans are known for. Now those visitors will just drive on to the next town to spend their money there.

4 thoughts on “Alpine City Council Vote Shuts Down Visitor’s Center

  1. Johanna Nelson

    Andrew,
    This foremost is a legal issue. The city had a contract with the CVB/Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber is a different group with which the city has no affiliation. The CVB uses hotel/motel taxes, which the city is affiliated. The council was abolishing the contract because the CVB has renamed their group, the Alpine Tourist Initiative and to clear up the confusion with their relation to the Chamber. This had to be done legally to have a legit contract. An example of the confusion with the names: your resources link says the ‘Alpine Chamber’…which then leads you to the CVB(now the ATI)website. There is an open bid now, for the job of the CVB, which is open to the ATI, the Big Bend Chamber, and the Alpine Chamber, among others.

  2. admin

    Will the Visitor’s Center be closed for Spring Break? It shows a lack of foresight by the City Council if the visitor’s center is closed for a single day. The bidding process should have been conducted last year so there would be uninterrupted service. The ATI should be appointed to run the center in the interim.

    I understand that this is a legal issue; anything involving local government ultimately is. The City Council can have an ongoing relationship with an entity despite a name change. If the entity has the same IRS EIN, board of directors, president etc. any prior contracts must be fulfilled. I can’t change the name of my business to “East Texas Weekly” and refuse to pay my credit card bill because “West Texas Weekly” incurred all the expenses.

    My main gripe with the City Council is that they are being dismissive with a non-profit that has been loyal and productive for the City Council. All of this name-changing and splitting up occurred long ago because of City Council involvement. The City Council should be supportive of a local non-profit that has done so much for local tourism.

  3. Johanna Nelson

    ‘The City Council should be supportive of a local non-profit that has done so much for local tourism.’

    I agree with you. The city council, city staff and most citizens feel the same way. Unfortunately, there is a lot of miscommunication about this subject within the public, city, and ATI.

    I appreciate your concern for this issue and look forward to reading more articles about local government happenings in the area. I enjoyed reading your blog about the ongoing POATRI debate in SOCO. Do you ever read Jack MacNamera’s blog, http://www.nimbynews.com/ ? It is so imperative for citizens to follow the actions of local governments and be involved…and concerned. Thanks Andrew.

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