Could tourism be down because of new rules?
By: Ryan Tate
By: Ryan Tate
VAN BUREN, Mo. -- Some business leaders and a Carter County Commissioner say tourism is down compared to summer's past, and they think new rules and regulations may be to blame.
Carter County Presiding Commissioner Gene Oakley says some businesses claim to be down 10%-15% compared to previous summers.
Tom Bedell owns "The Landing," a hotel, restaurant and floating rental business. He has owned it since 1981.
"I've seen my books go up 5%-15% a year. This year we haven't seen that," Bedell said.
Both say some of that can be blamed on the new rules and recommendations adopted by the Ozark Scenic National Riverways. They include no alcohol containers larger than one gallon, no jello shots, no beer bongs, and no beads. They also "recommend" that floaters be responsible by only bringing a six pack of beer, and not bringing coolers larger than 48 quarts.
"Our clientele is changing because of this family friendly goal. We're seeing a shift," Ozark National Scenic Riverways Superintendent Noel Poe said. "We want to see a place where you bring young children and not see nudity. A place you can bring your mother and not see a bunch of drunken 20-year olds."
"We're all for the regulations but we want the public to know that responsible consumption of alcohol by adults is not prohibited," Bedell said.