Changing visitors spell uncertain future for National Parks

August 1, 2007

The Chattanooga Times Free Press has an interesting piece on changes in the demographics of visitors to National Parks and what this means for the future of those parks. Writer Angie Herrington talked to Shawn Benge, the superintendent of Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park. and Bob Miller, spokesman for the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Benge notes that white males come to Civil War parks to learn about the battles and “who shot who” and may be following the footsteps of their ancestors. This is not the case with minority visitors, who Benge speculates might be more interested in the reasons the war was fought.

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The circumscribed world of brochures

August 1, 2007

Today’s Washington Post has a fun article in the Style section by a writer who “based an entire itinerary based on the brochures to be had in a hotel lobby.” Ellen McCarthy and her father visited various roadside attractions, and she marvels at “the realization of how many ‘best, biggest, most popular’ sites could be found in this fine patch of the commonwealth.”

Amid blogs, websites, and interactive video dispensers of information, the lowly brochure still hangs in there as a means of getting visitors to stop at attractions, shops, restaurants, and motels. The standard size is four inches by nine inches, and the requirements to get them place in Tennessee visitor centers are legion.

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Anyone stepping into a visitor center can easily walk out with hundreds of brochures. (Some kids often attempt to do so.) Among this plethora of pamphlets, it’s interesting to see what cannot be displayed, according to the state of Tennessee. Read the rest of this entry »


Stax tonight!

August 1, 2007

Tonight most PBS stations will host Respect Yourself: The Stax Records Story. This documentary tells the story of how blacks and whites came together in Memphis to make music that still rocks the house. Names such as Isaac Hayes, Sam & Dave, Booker T and the MGs, and Otis Redding developed their sound in the Stax studios, which were located in a former movie studio.

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