Okay, let’s rephrase that: it’s working if we all chip in together. As I indicated in today’s Daily News article, The History of Yankee Homecoming, which I have in it’s ‘unabridged’ version here; the whole point of Yankee Homecoming is to bring in an influx of visitors.
So many of the locals fail to understand that all the good things they enjoy in this community has been brought about by eco and heritage tourism. Quality of life and high property values have created a nexus of quality services that only a much larger (and more congested) urban center can readily provide. Only the delusional amongst us actually think that a handful of marinas (which only operate for just a few months of the year), parks (which can only be endured a few months of the year); and a small group of companies in the industrial park. (which generate little direct benefit to our tax rolls); are our source of wealth.
You may, as a resident, may not like our ‘guests’ but each one translates into a gold mine. Because of that, they need to be conjoled, pleased and welcomed at any chance we get. We need to refrain from the thoroughly thought but fortunately not spoken, “Welcome to Newburyport! Spend your money and get out!”
Fortunately, I might add, because a significant percentage, do come back and live here or, and this is our source of wealth, want to live here – which makes our desirability translated into high equity and property values.
And don’t forget that we have The Curse to contend with! This ancient doom is trying to make sure that Newburyport is not known nationally or internationally – that we are forgotten – and that urge to shout out at our visitors only reinforces the curse even more.
Yankee Homecoming has been since it’s very beginning, a fantastic way to fight that obscurenous existence.
Locals invite their relatives which are probably scattered across the country and even the globe; those relatives invite their other relatives and friends spawning a chain reaction. Then, when you mix all the visitors who ‘accidentally’ stumbled upon our city; inviting their friends and relatives to come – and you have a juggernaut.
Can’t depend on the city to do it – they’re mired in The Curse.
Can’t depend on the Chamber to do it – they’re influenced by the same desire to shoo away visitors stimulated by the suicidal business nature of The Curse.
We can all beat this horrible tabboo – but it’s going to take all of us – resisting its siren song of isolationism.
So support the spirit of Yankee Homecoming – set your vacation time next year for another spot in the summer and invite those friends and relatives.
Let the world know about Newburyport!
PS. That also means gritting your teeth and endure the crowding, the traffic and the peculiarities of our guests. (If they’re especially loud, check for a Texas license plate nearby.)