National

N.C. tourists out of luck for help on Tuesdays

Visitors in North Carolina might feel a little less welcome these days. At least on Tuesdays.

To save money, the state's nine welcome centers will now be closed Tuesdays as the Division of Tourism, Film & Sports Development tries to trim 5 percent off its budget. The state pointed out that welcome centers in Virginia are also now closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

South Carolina is keeping its welcome centers open seven days a week - for now - but it has cut the part-time or temporary positions, said Marion Edmonds, spokesman for the Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism.

"We are experimenting right now," he said. "We are trying right now to see how we can adjust schedules and still maintain a seven-day schedule. We'll continue this for at least a month or more while we look at it, and then we'll have to make some kind of choice."

The visitors centers help boost business at local attractions, museums and hotels, Edmonds said.

"Literally millions of people who are traveling through or traveling to South Carolina stop at those welcome centers," he said. "People may be going to see Grandma at a certain town in South Carolina, and they stop at a welcome center and discover there's a really neat museum only 15 minutes from the town they're going to."

Here's a bit of local trivia: Actress Joan Crawford cut the ribbon to open the state's first welcome center in Little River the late 1960s.

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