Saturday, November 28, 2015

What Do Tourists Think of Montgomery?
By Ashley Thompson

Several big events bring thousands of people to downtown Montgomery for the weekend.

But what do out-of-towners think of the Capital City?

The hotels are sold out, the restaurants are full, and the streets are busy with people this weekend in downtown Montgomery. Mike Newton is in town from Las Vegas with his wife and mother-in-law.

"Montgomery is an outstanding little town and coming from Vegas, it is kind of little," he says.

But Newton says the size of the city hasn't made it any less fun for him. He tells us his family has made an itinerary for their stay.

"We have a few more days to stay here," he explains. "We like all the historical sites and we'll hit the baseball game, we're going to do that tomorrow. We have the Shakespeare Festival tonight."

But what do tourists without plans think of the city? Is there enough to do? Tom Langan is in town from North Carolina. He tells us he decided to stop in Montgomery on the way to visit family in Birmingham.

"I've just been overwhelmed by the activities and the fine restaurants and the kind people," he says.

Meg Lewis with the Convention and Visitors Bureau says officials hope to bring in even more tourism, now that the city has been recognized by USA Today as the 'Best Historic City.'

"This is going to be something that we put forward in the press, in the media and to the public to try to get more people to come and experience Montgomery."

And tourists are reacting well to the city's new title.

"I think it's great," says John Leonard. "I think that speaks volumes for Montgomery and the citizens of Montgomery."

Although some are enjoying what the city has to offer, others say more is needed, especially for children. Diane Shell says she's disappointed that Questplex, the science and technology center, fell through.

"There is just not enough for kids, sometimes not for adults, but I know they're trying to expand that. So we're just waiting. "