Bill Wayne's Political Pages - The Gadfly
Gadfly 38
Printed in the Warrensburg Gazette April 13, 2000

The Gadfly is a series of letters offering commentary on local issues and published in the Warrensburg Gazette.

Dear Editor

There's something missing in Warrensburg. While other towns boast of their tourism enticements with advertising signs along major thoroughfares, all I see coming from Kansas City on US Hiway 50 at the Business 50 turnoff is a rusty empty sign and the obvious university ad.

What happened to the proposals for signs directing the public to downtown? A flopping plastic banner over a major street promoting an event is a one time deal. What do we tell those who know nothing of what would invite them to spend tourism dollars in a town, our town?

A tiny little hamlet of Pappinsville in Bates County (not even listed on the official Missouri map) doesn't have even a store or paved roads. But, go south out of Appleton City, and if you find Pappinsville, population questionable, you'll find tourism signs. Planks on sticks tell the story of the town's history. It's a cheap way to promote, but it does the trick. It's the only town I ever saw that consists solely of a bunch of trailers, picnic tables, and tourism signs for those who definitely get off the "beaten path."

For several years I've heard promises of directing travelers to where downtown Warrensburg is, maybe even a pictorial of Old Drum pointing his nose to downtown. However, all I hear from visitors or daytrippers is "...gee, I didn't know Warrensburg had a downtown..." or "...where is the statue, where is the courthouse, and what about that monument to where that dog was killed..."

Flamboyant brochures about Warrensburg don't make it when people can't find the attractions - they don't even know what highway exit to take. You'd think that with $50,000+ of lodging tax money and two organizations promoting the town, the Greater Warrensburg Area Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center (GWACC&VC) and Warrensburg Main Street, we'd have great tourism signage.

I hope that rubbing this dog's hair the wrong way about civic or private enterprise investing in a couple of roadway signs may just be the nip in tourism pride that seems missing.

Sandra Wayne

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