For many years -- and for good reasons -- much of Cape Girardeau's effort to lure tourists has relied on its significant historical roots. Existing attractions were given a boost a few years ago by the opening of the Red House Interpretive Center, a re-creation of founder Louis Lorimier's home and trading post.
But a quick rundown of other attractions show that many of them appeal to family fun and activities. The just-opened Cape Splash Family Aquatic Center is getting rave reviews. The Discovery Playhouse hands-on children's museum drew 3,000 visitors in its first month. The renovated Jaycees Municipal Golf Course will reopen in a few days. The Missouri Conservation Department's nature center continues to offer popular programs. Later this month nearby Lazy L Safari Park will offer walking tours featuring a number of exotic animals.
On the horizon is the possibility of a casino development for Cape Girardeau, which early studies indicate has a good chance of being selected for the state's only available license.
With all of these attractions -- new and old -- the Convention and Visitors Bureau plans to get a better handle on what attracts visitors and how to market what Cape Girardeau has to offer. The list keeps getting longer and longer.