not, however, because of the move of the Gettysburg Visitor Center. By now all of you are aware that the new VC has opened at a location further removed from the schlock shops along Steinwehr Avenue and has implemented a plan to charge admission [pdf file] for the new movie and Cyclorama. Local business owners have complained about both of these decisions as an explanation for decreasing foot traffic and sales. Let me suggest that their real problem is a lack of imagination:
In the meantime, the business owners are brainstorming other ideas to attract visitors – including locals – to Steinwehr Avenue. Crist said it's not often that a local stops by Flex and Flanigan's. "If I get 10 local people in my store a year, that's amazing," he said.
One suggestion is a Christmas tree competition. Participating
businesses would each decorate their own tree, and visitors would vote
with money on the winner. Donations could go to a charitable cause. "That's one way we might be able to get some people in," Crist said.
Let me suggest that the blame for poor sales ought not to be pinned on the NPS's decision to move the VC nor for its decision to charge admission. If there is any blame to be assigned it must go to the members of the Steinwehr Avenue Business Alliance who failed to plan for a move that was years in the making. Good luck guys. You are going to need it if the best you can do is a Christmas Tree competition.