On the way to Boot Hill ...
Rose spots Wyatt Earp House and Gallery ...
I wouldn't have minded looking at the Gallery, but things looks pretty quiet.
It's closed. But Why? It's Saturday and there's a Festival in town ... ?
We're still nosy enough to have a look around ...
Curiosity gets to us ... so we head around back ...
And out steps Bat Masterson !!
Didn't even know he wuz in town.
Here's the story: this chap (Greg? Craig? Forgive me, I forgot your name)
drives in from Los Angeles and likes to join in the Tombstone festivities.
He rents one of the 3 existing rental units on this lot.
(There's no longer a Wyatt Earp House and Gallery - but rental units.)
He's typical Tombstone friendly and chats with us for a while.
Nice guy. I snap a pic of him with Rose.
Back home I finally get the back story on Wyatt Earp House:
Posted: Apr 18, 2013 6:27 PM MDT
Updated: Apr 27, 2013 5:28 PM MDT
By Sonu Wasu CONNECT
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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -
"It's a town where the sound of gun fire is everyday business.
Horse drawn carriages walk down main street and the feeling of the old west is alive every day. Now a town that's been fighting to preserve history is fighting for self preservation.
Hearing the Wyatt Earp House and Gallery is closing for good is sad news for locals and tourists. It's been around for more than a century. It closes on Sunday for good, and officials blame it on the economy and a decline in tourism.
"I didn't know, but I'm not surprised," said Wyatt Earp Theatre Owner James Ferguson. "Our tourism is dropping pretty steadily."
Every owner is fighting for their business to stay alive.
"Last couple years, we wound up closing two of our businesses [and we] now just have this photo studio left," said Old Tyme Photos Owner Jim Newbauer.
"Last few months, 11 businesses closed down," Chamber of Commerce President Susan Wallace said. "We're also seeing large turnover of businesses, but we also have new businesses coming in."
The owners of the Wyatt Earp house are not in town today, but we're told they plan to re-open as a vacation rental. Officials say this is not expected to affect Wyatt Earp Days in May, but some in town feel it will; one less place for visitors to check out.
"Hopefully they'll keep statue of Wyatt there so people can still take pictures with it," Newbauer said.
Town officials say an international marketing campaign is now in the planning stages.
"Normally, the tourists [whom] Tombstone does well with are Europeans, Japanese [and] the Asians," the Mayor said over the phone.
But the town is too tough to die and still hanging on.
“It's very sad but we won't give up," Ferguson said. "We want to promote history of this town, Wyatt earp, mining; it's what this town is all about."
Part of their marketing campaign includes printing their brochures in different languages. The goal is to bring international tourists to Tombstone, Ariz. They also plan to make their website accessible to tourists by offering options for several different languages in the near future.
Chamber president Susan Wallace says this advertising campaign is expected to cost them a few hundred thousand dollars. They hope to use money from the town's bed tax, and revenue generated from city-owned attractions like the boothill cemetery."
There you have it. It's shocking to hear that Tombstone - major iconic Western attraction - hurting for Tourism/VIsitors. It seemed busy enough to us, but maybe that was just because of the Rose Festival ? Don't know. The Economy ... I guess ? Yet I'd figure that when things turn down, folks would come here rather than travel aboard ? Maybe people aren't travelling at all - sticking close to home ? Hope that changes.
Tombstone Ghost Town?
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