Colleen Buyers, a businessperson from the San Francisco area, is looking to put a walking tour of Clarksdale together through a GPS for people to be able to use on their phones.
Buyers made a presentation of what the walking tour would entail during the Wednesday, March 13 Coahoma County Tourism board meeting.
“In dialoguing with her for two or three days, it was very intriguing,” said Bubba O’Keefe, executive director of Coahoma County Tourism. “She’s a business strategist. It’s intriguing what they saw in Clarksdale.”
Costs have not been determined at this time. Tourists may have to pay a small fee or the walking tour could be funded other ways.
Buyers said the tour could be taken through a Wi-Fi connection.
“We will lay out a walking tour of downtown Clarksdale and various points,” Buyers said.
Buyers said the walking tour allows people to tell their stories in Clarksdale and she would be interviewing people during the next couple of weeks.
“We’re covering a broad range of topics,” Buyers said. “It is intended to be just an introduction to Clarksdale.”
Buyers said the walking tour would encourage people to stay longer in Clarksdale and take them to places such as restaurants.
“We will be doing this as just an introduction on the first tour,” Buyers said.
Then, there could tours that centered around Tennessee Williams, the blues and civil rights.
The tourism board does not need to oversee the project.
“It doesn’t necessarily need to be run by the commission,” Buyers said. “The tourism commission doesn’t need to keep tabs on everything.”
Buyers said there could be a small fee for tourists, but if they could go through the walking tour for free, it would likely be done five to seven times more often.
“How is it maintained and adjusted going forward?” asked board member Madge Howell.
“We are editing it in a way that it is not going to be so specific that we have to make those changes all the time,” Buyers said. “We’re not going to be talking about specific business hours. We’re not going to be including that information that could quickly become obsolete.”
Buyers said the walking tour would acknowledge changes could be made. In the case of businesses, it would encourage tourists to visit if it is open.
Buyers said she is partnering with Griot Arts Inc., which has a Mississippi Delta National Heritage grant. That will enable her to use old WROX museum for gathering material.
O’Keefe said the walking tour would be a good thing to explore and he expressed his support.
“This would be an opportunity to get a foot hold in this,” he said.
O’Keefe acknowledged the walking tour can fill needs websites may not be able to.
“A website is great, but it’s not user friendly when you walk around town,” he said. “It could be cumbersome.”