While meandering the backroads of South Carolina- which I’m sure we all do occasionally- one cannot help noticing the most notable structure in Bowman, the “Official South Carolina UFO Welcome Center”.  I tell you, these folks are ON it. Ready, definitely ready for visitors.

UFO Welcome Center, Bowman SC, pop. 890

Are we as ready as they are? Our two welcome centers (the one in Arcata and the one at the Chamber building) are well-stocked and the tiny staff is helpful,  but in Eureka especially the traffic roars past without stopping, even though the number of inquiries to the Chamber has being rising steadily. Remember the kerfluffle a few years ago when a waitress at the late, great Seafood Grotto  told an inquiring visitor that there was “nothing to do” in Humboldt? I think that same waitress served me. Right around that time I took a visitor to lunch who inquired about the oyster stew.  The server wrinkled her nose. “Eewwww! I don’t eat those, “she said.

For awhile there we had remedial classes at CR in the care and treatment of visitors but I haven’t heard about those lately. Do we still have them? Do we still need them? Are you and your staff ready to deal with visitor inquiries? Do any of you do your own training? Tell us about it and tell us if you have unmet needs in this area.

The structure in Bowman was built by a fellow who works in a lawnmower factory in nearby Orangeburg ( yes, they still MANUFACTURE things in South Carolina) and is conveniently located right behind the gas station, handy for fueling up for the return trip.

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  1. Love your site it looks great.
    I think you make some good points about our visitor centers and tourism. I never went in the Eureka Chamber until last year because I thought it was part of the bowling alley, and the one in Arcata is hard to find.
    Humboldt has changed in the past 25 years, but I’m not sure most people really think about tourism and all it brings to our area.
    We have some nice parks, and hopefully the state doesn’t close them all.

    • You’re not the only one who thought it (the Chamber) was connected to the bowling alley. At the meeting the other night they were describing how thrilled they are with the new improvements (landscaping etc.) for which they depend on donations from member businesses but I sure wish the building stood out a little more, even at the price of abandoning the grey-green color scheme which I guess is supposed to remind you of the Carson Mansion/Ingomar Club. Speaking of green, have a safe (and profitable) St. Patrick’s Day!

  2. Great start! I haven’t had two minutes to work on WordPress. Love the concept.
    The California Welcome Center is located in the Chamber of Commerce building at the intersection of Guintoli and Hwy 101. Brenda Bishop is the Ex. Dir. of the Arcata Chamber and runs the CWC.

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