Letter to the Editor

River is Cape's biggest asset, lure for tourists

To the editor:

Cape Girardeau is having an identity crisis, so a Tennessee firm is being hired to tell us who we are and how to attract tourists. Is this a case of not seeing the forest for the trees?

Cape Girardeau is, as it always has been, a Mississippi River town. It was the river that inspired Jean Girardot to build a trading post here and Louis Lorimier to establish a town here. It continues to provide employment, entertainment and even the water for our morning coffee. The Mighty Mississippi is our greatest asset and, as a tourist attraction, the most sadly overlooked.

We have a beautiful riverfront obscured by a necessary but ugly concrete wall. Observation decks could provide a wonderful place to watch the river activity. We have miles of scenic roads along the river's edge, but trees, brush and abandoned buildings hide the view. We have Fort D, a perfect setting for a Civil War museum. We have blocks of empty land from Broadway to Cape Rock that could become a park. We have miles of riverfront but not one boat for a tourist to ride. We have throngs of talented craftspeople, but few shops that feature their work. We have no theme restaurants and, seemingly, no pride in our heritage.

We don't need an outside firm to tell us who we are. We need only to open our eyes. Let us tell the world we are proud to be a river town.

SHARON R. STICHT

Cape Girardeau