The largest industry in Adams County saw a 3% increase in growth in 2012. Tourism was on the rise ahead of the historic 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg.
Nancy Gudmestad is the director of the Shriver House Museum. She helps people step back into the 1860’s. She says an economic downturn in 2010 did nothing to boost business. But 2012 told a different story. She says, “I heard from a lot of teachers that they had not been to Gettysburg before but we were approaching that big year and they wanted their students to experience it.”
Visiting the bucket list destination of the Civil War is what tourists did ahead of the historic 150th Anniversary.
Norris Flowers, president of the Gettysburg Convention and Visitors Bureau says, “There were other events with other destinations like Manassas in 2012, so visitors from around the country were going there in the area and came to Gettysburg to see it.”
Flowers says 2012’s visitor spending was $629 million. That helped grow employment to 7,350 people in the county.
Flowers says, “It created more tax dollars, so municipalities, state and federal government received more money, business received more revenue and they were able to hire more people in preparation for 2013.”
It’s growth Nancy needs to restore her privately funded museum. She says, “”The way we sustain this museum is people walking through the door, going on a tour and supporting our museum.”
Nancy also employed two more people in 2012. She now has 14 workers. 2013 numbers will not be available until December. But officials expect around $750 million in spending.