I was pleased to see an article in the March 10/weekend edition of the Courier-Post detailing the expansion of Operating Hours for the Molly Brown House or Birthplace.

*Editor's note: This opinion is in response to an article titled “Molly Brown House hours being extended” published in the Saturday, March 10, Courier-Post.

I was pleased to see an article in the March 10/weekend edition of the Courier-Post detailing the expansion of Operating Hours for the Molly Brown House or Birthplace.

This is tremendously good news. Historical attractions such as this add to Hannibal’s “cultural or historical tourism” value and the more attractions we have, the easier it is for people to decide to stay overnight — where our “Bed Tax” literally pays for the operations of the CVB…..while spending more money at local businesses, meaning more revenue to our General Fund, which is how we pay for the maintenance of so much of our city.

As stated in the article, the CVB only had a single, marketed “promotion” for Molly (Margaret) Brown’s birthday last year. They need to have at least one “promotional event” of some sort each month —which would only be a max of four if you include promoting “Opening Weekend” specials or events.

The Molly Brown House cannot be simply included in Visitor’s Guides and other overall literature. Having a “Titanic Day” or a “Juvenile Justice Day” (she helped create that system for our country) or a “Women in Politics Day” (she ran for office and can be a role model for young girls) are just some ideas that simply require a bit of research for the tour guides to share with visitors and would be something that newspapers, magazines and on-line media could promote for free.

As with all the money we as a city pay to maintain attractions such as Lover’s Leap, which generates zero revenue, any “book losses” the CVB may show are irrelevant as the Molly Brown House falls into that same category as Lover’s Leap — part of Hannibal’s Heritage to be maintained and available to residents and visitors.

While we need to expand our operation of the Molly Brown Birthplace, this is certainly a very welcome step in the right direction!

— Lou Barta, Hannibal