Be nice to Cleveland's visitors

Recently, I have attended several meetings and luncheons that talked about all the wonderful things that are happening in Cleveland. "Positively Cleveland" is in full force and is gearing up for great things. We have a Convention Center, a Casino and a Medical Mart all promising to bring people to our town, create jobs and excitement.  

It is estimated that two billion dollars is going to be spent to make these things happen. Greater Clevelanders are chomping at the bit for some kind of a revitalization especially after the county corruptions scandal. We are tired of people coming into our town with big promises and sucking it dry of resources, finances and dreams.  

We now have a plan and it seems to be moving in a direction that may have some hope. As small of a detail as it may seem, we need to remember to "be nice" to visitors. I know this may sound silly when you look at the big picture but it's not. It's actually quite a big part of the success of this plan. I would rather go anywhere with great people than to go someplace fantastic with nasty folks.  

A big part of any experience is how we are treated. Most people find Ireland to be a fantastic country to visit. It is a nice place but really no better than others. It's the people that make it so wonderful. They are kind and they make you feel safe and welcomed. They don't tell you where to go when you ask, they take you there. When we travel outside of our own backyard, we want to feel safe and welcomed. It's the reason no one is flocking to Mexico right now unless they throw a deal at you. We just don't feel safe there.

Visitors need to feel safe in our town and it's not about seeing policemen on every corner. It's about Clevelanders stepping up and helping to create a positive experience. People will speak highly and return to our town if they feel that they were treated well. So the next time you see someone that looks lost or speak with someone that isn't from our town, do something above and beyond and consider it your contribution to promoting Cleveland. If we all help and assist just one visitor, imagine what it will do for our reputation.    

Colleen Harding

Colleen Harding lives in Bay Village.

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Volume 3, Issue 14, Posted 2:08 PM, 07.12.2011