Letter To The Editor: Wake Up, Los Alamos, The Tourists Are Here!

By DOROTHY AMSDEN
Los Alamos

This lovely Sunday morning on my walk around downtown I had the pleasure of encountering two groups of visitors who had no idea where to get information about the historic district.

 
I noticed a couple with two children at the south end of Bathtub Row. I said hello and asked if they were visitors. Yes, from Denver, they said. I explained why Bathtub Row is so named and showed them where to find the temporary History Museum. They knew a smattering of Los Alamos history but needed further information.

Continuing on my walk I noticed four adults looking at the Oppenheimer and Groves statues. Should I greet them, too? Of course! Welcome to Los Alamos. Where are you from? Montana. They wanted to know about Fuller Lodge and the History Museum. Can we visit them? The museum is closed for renovation, unfortunately, but it does have a small presence in that building over there, the Teen Center, on the south end. And yes, I think Fuller Lodge is now partially open for visitors. Can we use the restrooms there? I’m not sure. Are you an official greeter? No, just out on a walk.

This isn’t the first time I’ve encountered visitors on a Sunday morning. A few months ago a family from England was in the deserted parking lot at the Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center. I did my best to tell them about Los Alamos and the route over the Jemez Mountains and wished I had a brochure to give them. I later found out that the Visitor Center does have brochures outdoors, but they are in an inconspicuous small plastic holder far to the left of the door.

Wake up, Los Alamos! We’ve been hoping to attract more visitors. Well, they’re here! Surely we can do a better job to greet them and orient them, even on Sundays. It was fun serving as an unofficial welcoming committee of one. But how about placing a conspicuous sign near the Oppenheimer/Groves statues directing people to the temporary location of the Historical Museum? In addition, perhaps the Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center should consider opening on Sundays and holidays.

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