While the G-BAD boys are scheming to build a new convention center, tourists are not well served in Idaho’s Capitol City.
A recent trip to Ohio prompted the GUARDIAN to share an idea that needs some immediate attention–tourist related signs. We have included samples from Cleveland and Columbus.
There are just a few official highway directional signs aiming motorists to key points like the airport, but nothing telling them they are headed the right direction along the way.
We need signs throughout the city at every major intersection to make our City of Trees “user friendly.” Our original thought is that G-BAD should be dissolved and the functions transferred to the Visitor and Convention Bureau–first cousins to G-BAD, but not married.
The Visitors Bureau is the logical agency to occupy the Depot and keep it open, provide decent signs around the city and generally promote the travel industry–without building a convention center.
Visitors and residents alike would benefit from signs directing motorists to attractions like the Historical Museum, Art Gallery, Zoo, Old Pen and Botanical Gardens, Golf Courses, The Depot, The Grove and Qwest Arena, Fairgrounds, Airport, Birds of Prey Center, Fish & Game M-K Nature Center, Lucky Peak, Hyde Park, BSU, Capitol Building,Table Rock (more on that later) and the list goes on.
With intermittent streets, the natural obstacles of the bench and the river, Boise is a tough place to navigate if you are a stranger. Good signs would go a long way toward stress reduction and increased visitor satisfaction.
To insure more advertising-free Boise Guardian news, please consider financial support.
May 15, 2006, 12:06 am
Might be a few glitches, though.
For example, how many hungry, frustrated, confused tourists do you figure would show up at the Taco Bell Arena, expecting to find a really large place to get a quick Mexican meal?
And nobody would ever find the Western Idaho Fair at whattheheckever idiotic name the former Westerin Idaho Fairgrounds is using now.
Of course, they might also head to Garden City, hoping to find some fresh produce …
May 15, 2006, 12:57 pm
We have many sites that draw people from out of town and the Guardian listed many. But there really is no readily accessible method by which a visitor can get oriented. And we have great need for the service because I’ve been in in classical European cities and Morrocan medinas that are laid out better than Boise. The town’s original orientation along the river gets skewed the further away from the river you get. Have you ever tried to explain to a visitor at the mall how to get to Hyde Park? Or how about getting from HP to Table Rock? Do you expect those people to get to the destination without you in the car? Signs would go a long way to making Boise user friendly so visitors can spend their cash and find the freeway or the airport when they’re done.
May 15, 2006, 3:42 pm
Being new to town I have to say that Boise does not seem to care about visitors. It is impossible to find anything of interest in town – in fact you drive right by the Zoo and don’t even know it – WHY??
They want a big convention center – why? It seems all someone cares about is “conventions”! So all we want to do is have people come to a convention and never leave the “downtown”. Everything seems focused on downtown – how one sided and short sighted.
May 15, 2006, 4:37 pm
Boise’s got a lot of great places to be- it amazes me that the ” visitors center” does not make it easier for out of towners to enjoy them by having easy to read directional signs.
Most cities don’t have a park system anything like Boise. The zoo, art and history museum and Discovery Center are primo attractions while the greenbelt, the old vet’s cemetery ( behind the VA,in the foothills) and the road to Bogus basin are beautiful and historic.Seems G-BAD forgets the great things Boise already has in their eagerness to spend more taxpayers dollars on an uneeded convention center.
May 16, 2006, 3:07 pm
At one time the visitor’s center was right off of the freeway next to the airport. Then it moved onto Vista Ave. and now it’s even further down Vista but at least it has a readable sign.
Having the experience of being on the freeway for hours and hours, turning off of the freeway to the heart of a city when you are not certain where the visitor’s center may be hidden – just to ask which exit to take to get someplace is something to make most visitor’s ignore the center. Why risk getting lost?
The Visitor’s Center at the Depot is a great idea….everyday tax payers may actually get to enter the building that they pay for. Gosh, kids could use the rest rooms instead of peeing on the fish. (sorry, just an observation I’ve made).
As kids we always loved playing on the depot grounds and going inside of the echoing building. But that was before the city owned it…when it was private property.
May 17, 2006, 5:40 pm
What the Treasure Valley really needs is a good guide book. I’ve lived here seven years and I still can’t find a lot of the fantastic places people talk about. Someone will tell me about a great walking trail and the directions are: go up XYZ street. Park by the yellow house on the left and quickly go through “M’s” side yard. You can’t miss it.” Uh, yeah.
May 17, 2006, 8:33 pm
With the way restaraunts and cafes come and go, the way things ebb and flow no guide book could keep up.
Just get a friend and get lost together. It is the best way to get to know most cities Boise’s size. ummmm this does not include the West end of Boise….that’s not really Boise…that is a part of California. The Bench, the second Bench, the north, northeast, south, northwest….that’s Boise. so far. Harris Ranch and beyond is growing into California, so avoid that area.