Fewer people came through the doors of the Camp Verde Visitor Center during January, February and March than during the same period last year, according to Visitor Center and Chamber of Commerce Director Tracie Schimikowsky.
January brought in 477 visitors, while February and March saw 623 and 1,002 visitors in the center respectively, a total of 2,102. That’s down just a bit from the 2,285 visitors that stopped by in the first three months of 2010.
Schimikowsky gave her report to the Camp Verde Town Council at its April 20 meeting.
While the numbers were down, Schimikowsky said the overall number of local visitors to the town were up.
The tourists, from elsewhere in Arizona, out-of-state or abroad, also provided valuable information about their visits to Camp Verde.
According to Schimikowsky, the average visitor staying in a hotel spends three nights in Camp Verde, while the average visitor with a recreational vehicle stays 25 nights.
Using this and other data, Schimikowsky estimates that since the fiscal year began July 1 through February, tourists and visitors have spent $5.8 million in Camp Verde’s economy.
Given what the Visitor Center spends on advertising, Schimikowsky said that every dollar brings in $235 in visitor spending.
When it comes to promotions for the town, Schimikowsky said that the advertising slogan “Gateway to the Verde Valley” will likely start to be phased out in literature and advertisements.
“A gateway is just a doorway,” Schimikowsky said. “And no one stops in a doorway.”
A possible replacement could be “Camp Verde: Arizona’s Base Camp to Adventure,” Schimikowsky said.
Shiela Stubler, manager of Fort Verde State Historic Park, also turned in a report on the third quarter of the fiscal year. Stubler talked about the recent History of the Soldier event, held earlier in April.
Despite high winds, Stubler said the event was a success; several grade school students came out to learn from reenactors in historical dress about different eras throughout America’s military past.
Between January and March, volunteers worked more than 650 hours repairing the windows and dormers on the fort’s commanding officers’ quarters, work that set the stage for the later roof repairs done to the building.
Work was also done to repair some of the fort’s irrigation lines, fill in an old septic tank that posed a danger and make other repairs and additions to the fort.
Visitation was down, however, compared with last year. The first three months of 2011, the fort’s front desk recorded 2,226 visitors, down from 3,315 during the first part of 2010. In all, volunteers spent nearly 1,000 hours helping to keep the fort running, according to Stubler’s report.
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