Monday, December 14, 2009

New Hope PA Borough Council and Chamber of Commerce Give Up on Visitors' Center (and Promoting Tourism?)

The Times of Trenton reports today that New Hope's visitor center, located in a former town hall at South Main and Mechanic streets, will be outsourced to the Bucks County Conference and Visitors Bureau beginning January 1, 2010.

"It's a win-win situation for everyone," said Councilman Richard Hirschfield, who for several years was looking for a way to get the tax-funded tourism operation removed from the borough's budget.

The borough had been budgeting $62,000 a year, the equivalent of about $1.1 million in real estate taxes, to operate the center.

[Ed. note: New Hope PA also earns $371,200 per year from parking meters, $315,000 from parking ticketing and stopping vistors' vehicles, $89,000 from its "business privilege tax", and $56,150 from "business licenses and franchise fees"]

"It was felt the borough could contribute and work toward it but it should be the function of the New Hope Chamber of Commerce or some other organization that would promote business," said Hirschfield.

Louis Licitra, former president of the organization, said it was impossible financially for the chamber to operate the visitors' center.

"After all, people come to New Hope for New Hope. They don't come here to see the visitors center," said Licitra.

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