By Gov. M. Jodi Rell
Special to WestportNow
Gov. M. Jodi Rell: Announces open house day June 11. Contriibuted photoTourism is a $10 billion industry in Connecticut. In 2004, about 15 million people visited our historical sites, coastline, art exhibits, theaters, quaint towns and villages, museums, galleries and gardens.
I want Connecticut residents to become familiar with the very treasures that out-of-staters are discovering every day. That�s why I am pleased to announce an exciting opportunity for all of us to contribute to Connecticut�s continued growth and prosperity.
I am asking Connecticut residents to please join in a very special one-day statewide celebration on Saturday, June 11: Connecticut Open House Day. Connecticut Open House Day showcases our state�s exceptional world of art, history and tourism. On June 11, Connecticut tourist attractions will open their doors in a neighborly way to residents so we can discover � and rediscover � all that is uniquely Connecticut.
More than 125 cultural and tourist destinations will participate. Many will offer free admission, unique tours, special offers and even refreshments to visitors. Some of the participants include the following:
� the American Clock & Watch Museum in Bristol
� the Mark Twain House & Museum and the Butler-McCook House in Hartford
� the Farmington Valley Arts Center in Avon
� the Summer Yale Cabaret and the Freedom Schooner Amistad in New Haven
� the Henry Whitfield State Museum in Guilford
� the Mystic Arts Center
� the New England Air Museum in Windsor Locks
� the Nathan Hale Homestead in Coventry
� the Hill-Stead Museum in Farmington
� Quassy Amusement Park in Middlebury
While June 11 is the perfect opportunity for all of us to take time to stop in and connect with the many wonderful properties and places right in our own backyards, it also marks a chance for us to learn something new about our great state and share that knowledge with out-of-state friends and family. In essence, I am asking you all to become proud and informed Connecticut tour guides. Become a well-informed, avid ambassador for our state.
Make no mistake about it: Your help in this area will result in additional jobs for Connecticut. Our service sector is one of the fastest-growing areas in terms of job creation. When we bring visitors to local restaurants, shops, properties and attractions, we are supporting the businesses and economies of our local communities and contributing to their growth � all of which leads to new jobs. Together, we can help to improve our quality of life, strengthen our economy and help Connecticut thrive.
Please take a moment to visit www.CTvisit.com (or call 888-CTvisit) for a complete listing of Connecticut Open House Day participating organizations and their specific offers. Remember to get your Connecticut Vacation Guide and Culture Guide (you can request it online) so you can begin planning an activity-packed summer. And be sure to set aside June 11 to visit one or more of our many remarkable properties. On June 11, let�s all celebrate Connecticut.