Dubois business owners wary of Gateway Community designation
Not everyone is thrilled to bring more Continental Divide Trail users to Dubois.
Dubois City Council heard a presentation last week about local efforts to have Dubois and Lander-South Pass City listed as Continental Divide Trail Gateway communities.
The designation aims to attract more tourists to the city by informing users of the Continental Divide Trail of the amenities available there.
But several people said they weren’t interested in welcoming more trail users to Dubois, according to the minutes of the March 23 town council meeting.
Motel owner Rene Suda noted that trail users don’t usually spend a lot of money in Dubois, and if they rent a room, they often leave behind a smell that makes it difficult to reuse the space that day. -the.
Local business owner Robert Betts agreed with Suda, describing his experience with smelly trail users spending time in his store without buying much merchandise.
One meeting participant argued that trail users add to the local economy, but another said that hikers primarily want to use local utilities, such as bathrooms and water fountains, without offering compensation to store owners. Two people wondered if Dubois could handle much more tourism anyway.
If Dubois becomes a Continental Divide Trail Gateway community, Betts suggested that any associated marketing efforts should include guidelines for trail users to follow when coming to town.
Wind River Visitors Council executive director Helen Wilson said she will learn more about education options for hikers.
Wilson’s organization worked with three University of Wyoming seniors on the Gateway Communities project, and she had wanted the Dubois board to send her a letter of support for designation by the end of March so that students can be recognized for their efforts before graduation. .
Dubois Mayor John Meyer asked her what would happen if the town didn’t send a letter of support, and she said she didn’t know.
A dedication ceremony celebrating the designation is already scheduled for May 3 at the Headwaters Arts and Conference Center in Dubois.
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