A funny thing is happening at New Hope’s visitor’s center Wednesday: the doors are closing at 3 p.m., but nobody knows when they’ll be reopened.
Said a volunteer, “We’re not sure what’s going to be happening.”
Seems that the folks at Visit Bucks County, a marketing agency in Bensalem that currently runs the place, have gotten tired of using New Hope’s only information center and free public bathroom as a conduit for sending tourists elsewhere in Bucks. “The New Hope location will be closing effective January 1,” pronounces their website.
And the Borough, who owns the property and is willing to rent it for a song to any responsible group willing to staff it, appears unable to locate one.
The indefinitely AWOL New Hope Chamber of Commerce has considered doing something, although the remaining few appear more focused on a rumored merger with Lambertville’s chamber, according to sources close to the group. The New Hope Business Alliance likewise has announced no plans to keep the visitor’s center afloat, although rumors of potential rescuers abound.
So for now, it appears that operation of the facility will take a hiatus, and January is certainly not the worst time of year for that to happen.
More problematic longer-term is the large number of potential and actual visitors who phone or walk into the visitor’s center every day looking for a place to wash up or a recommendation on a store, restaurant or accommodation. That unfulfilled need, along with a rudderless business community and more competitive tourism market, will only add to the existing stress on New Hope’s commercial sector.
SORRY TO SEE YA GO…. NOT!
After years of sending OUR customers out of state to New Jersey Flea Markets, discouraging visitors NOT to patronize certain local shops,
being open truly inefficient HOURS, paying a ridiculously low RENT with a free prime PARKING spot and only recommending certain FAVORED shops,
I’m certainly NOT going to miss either the past decade long New Hope Chamber of Commerce’s oversight or the current
Conference and Visitors Bureau’s non Local business friendly occupation. Will New Hope ever be business friendly?
Better another emptied piece of Historic real estate, then the tourist dollar drain pipe this building represents.
New Hope remains an unbranded town adrift with no clear marketing or promotional aims. We have no real handle on tourist demographics, though a quick browse of many of the town’s shops Yelp comment pages, reveal some interesting patterns. Most SPENDERS are distant travelers!
Is town marketing a singular shop sport
or will there ever be an intelligent group approach to tourism Note the historic and well hidden New Hope Visitor’s Center downstairs jail remains
unfortunately unoccupied. Any candidates?