Fort Monroe possibilities
December 30, 2012—Letters to the Editor
I attended the Dec. 13 Fort Monroe Authority public board meeting and learned that a final decision on the fort’s Master Plan would be made during the summer of 2013. Two more public meetings will be held before the governor has to approve. Therefore, I was quite surprised to read in a recent letter to the editor that Scott Butler of Citizens for a Fort Monroe National Park and a vocal green Wherry Quarter advocate, wrote that the planners recommended the Wherry Park option as the “best choice” for Fort Monroe. After double checking, I was correct. The planners have merely narrowed their choices down from five to three options, to include Wherry Park. Coincidentally, the “no development” Wherry Park option is the most “costly choice” for the Virginia taxpayer, with an approximately 4.8 million dollar deficit annually.
It is my opinion, that the fort, is a unique, historic site, that with its prominent shoreline location can “stand alone” in attracting visitors. Will it draw repeat tourist visits? Ask yourself, how many times have you visited Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello or Gettysburg which are also unique historic sites?
It is significant to note that the planners suggest the need for a second attraction that would draw visitors from Virginia and adjacent states. I suggest we reserve about 40 acres of North Wherry Park now, and when the economy improves, build a compatible “grand” resort/casino there. This will eliminate the winter tourist doldrums, draw repeat visitors, and eliminate millions of dollars of forecast annual operating deficits.
Thomas S. Brzozowski