As the summer comes to a close, the Columbus Area Visitors Center is reporting record tourism numbers. The opening of the Miller House and Garden received national media attention and has brought visitors from 40 different states and 6 different countries to Columbus.
“Right now we are booking in to late October and early November,” said Cindy Frey, Associate Director at the Columbus Area Visitors Center. “You would be hard pressed to find two tickets on any tour between now and the end of October.”
Frey says the city had considered downsizing its coach bus, architecture tours, replacing them with smaller 15 passenger vans. But Frey says 1,200 more tickets for those tours have been sold this year than in 2010 and that option is no longer being considered.
Mayor Fred Armstrong says Columbus has changed a lot over the years and it will be up to the next mayor to continue promoting the city.
“I hope the next mayor listens and can go forward,” Armstrong said. “There is a lot that can be accomplished in the next 10 or 12 years, so I look forward to seeing what the next mayor is going to do to have more visitors in our community.”
A total of 3,200 people have been through the Miller House and Garden since it opened in May. Frey says innkeepers tax revenue is up, and the visitors center’s website traffic is up 21 percent over last year.