Saturday, July 18, 2009

Downtown Ogden Tourism Kicks Into High Gear

Two downtown tourist welcome centers and possibly much more!!!

This morning's Standard-Examiner reports the latest on Ogden's Dining Car/Tourist Welcome Center, which has been the subject of considerable previous discussion here on Weber County Forum. You can read Di Lewis's full story here:
Downtown Ogden continues welcoming visitors by building tourist infrastructure
Ms. Lewis provides a good nuts and bolts rundown on the project's current status, and among other things, also informs us that there will be not just one, but two downtown "welcome centers."

Ms. Lewis's story also mentions FOM* Jeanie Milne, owner of "Choo-Choo's Kafe and Deli." Ms. Milne is working with Trudy Soland, who in turn will be operating a second welcome center at 25th Street & Washington Blvd., according to Ms. Lewis's report. This morning's article doesn't clarify exactly what Ms. Milne's full role is with respect to her Ogden tourist welcoming concession, but we believe her following quote could very well provide some slight hint:
"I have all the tools and tours to get them on their way and then she (Soland) can give them information for the merchants for that part of town," Milne said.
As our long time readers will no doubt recall, it was only about a year ago that Ms. Milne was touting (and assembling) a downtown Faux Trolley Fleet.

We'll be sitting on the edges of our seats, awaiting the next "exciting" development for downtown Emerald City tourism.

Well... at least this is something for our gentle readers to ponder... on an otherwise S-L-O-W news day.
*Friend of Matt (Godfrey)


Bert said...

Faux Trolleys! Ogden City: "The tackiness Capital of the friggin' world."

Twitboy said...

Just for entertainment value, check out the list of characters Mayor Godfrey follows on his Twitter account.

I'd be willing to wager that he's the only person on Earth who follows Soleil Moon Frye, Kim Kardashian, Shaquille O'Neal, and Mark Shurtliff.

Curmudgeon said...

It was painfully obvious from the day the first Front Runner train pulled into Ogden Station that the Administration had dropped the ball on such simple things as providing signage at the station indicating such basic information as which way to Historic 25th Street. [I know because I was asked that question and more, often, particularly on weekends, by people new to town up for the day by train.] With years to prepare, not even a simple kiosk with a "YOU ARE HERE" map was in place.

As people began pointing out the lack of any information posted at the station for arriving visitors, the Administration, having failed with years advance notice, to do the simplest of things, lurched in the opposite direction and decided to construct an expensive Welcome Center, to include a cafe, crafted from an old rail car. Eventually, way way way over budget, it opened. But, it turned out, not a sign visible anywhere from the train platform identified it as a Downtown Ogden Information Station. Nothing.

After more months, the current huge sign, of a type that would not be out of place welcoming throngs to Vegas, appeared.

And we learn from the SE story that the information/welcome center has shrunk to a brochure rack with a touch-screen machine standing by. What was supposed to have been a Visitor Center with a Cafe attached, magically became instead, a Cafe with a rack and TV screen attached.

Two questions come to mind: (a) is a touch screen and brochure rack a sufficient benefit to the public to have justified the huge cost over-runs involved in the project? Was the bang we got worth the bucks we spent? and (b) is Ogden likely to generate sufficient train-arriving traffic involving strangers to the city to justify the money spent? Or has the Administration opted yet again for the hugely expensive and unnecessarily grandiose when a more modest and much more cost-effective project might have achieved the same ends?

After all, this administration does have a penchant for the grandiose expensive projects of doubtful viability --- think flatland gondolas, year-round outdoor ice towers, indoor downtown water parks, and velodromes.

We shall see.

Dan S. said...

I took a trip on the FrontRunner last week and checked out the welcome center while waiting for the train. As Curm says, it's a snack shop that happens to have a few tourist brochures. If I hadn't known to look for the brochures I might have missed them--they're not exactly in your face. Of the ten or so brochures, about half were for Ogden Valley attractions. Only one had any information about downtown Ogden. I didn't notice the touch screen so I'll have to go back and look for that.

drewmeister said...

Wait a minute.. Are you saying the lady with the intricately painted schoolbuses receiving a possible handout from city funds, is also the owner of the donut shop housed in the taxpayers' $80k+ train car? Am I the only person that finds this rather interesting?

bluto said...

more stretching the truth in order to make godfrey look worse than you. Pathetic fat and anti mormon trash blog fer sure.

TLJ said...

bluto - go and look in the mirror


Curmudgeon said...


Perhaps you'd care to indicate exactly where the stretchers [as Mark Twain called them] are? What, specifically, you think is exaggerated or false? Hard to take your post as anything but a minor snit-fit without specifics.

Monotreme said...

Mommy! Bluto called me 'fat'! Waaaah!

momba said...

Bluto obviously isn't old enough to know that he was a fat, mean-spirited enemy of our hero, Popeye. Go eat yer spinach!

Curmudgeon said...


Wasn't the John Belushi character in Animal House called "Bluto" too? Maybe that's where he got it.

The Bluto of Animal House will live in the hearts of history teachers forever for this classic line:

"Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?"

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