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Sam Houston statue soon to greet one-millionth visitor

By Sophie Nelson
On April 9, 2013

The Sam Houston Statue Visitor Center and Gift Shop is currently running a campaign to promote the landmark as they near the celebration of their millionth visitor to sign their guestbook.

As of Feb. 15, the day the campaign started, the visitor center was short by 23,000 signatures. On the morning of April 8, only 8,192 more signatures were required to make one million.

Director of Tourism for the Center, Kimm Thomas said that the center hopes to have reached their goal by National Tourism Week, which is May 4-12.

Thomas explained that the City of Huntsville Tourism and Cultural Services Department has created a web-based campaign so they can boost tourism not only for the visitor center, but for the entire city of Huntsville.

“By promoting Huntsville through the millionth person campaign, we will create a greater excitement and awareness of Huntsville as a destination,” Thomas said in an earlier press release. “This will draw tourists into our area, which will increase visitor spending and in return will grow state tax revenues that can lead to economic development.”

The website for the campaign is www.sam houstonstatueonemillionthvisitor.com and includes a special Facebook promotion for the most creative, most liked and oldest picture of the statue, as well as other cash and prize giveaways up until the millionth visitor signs the book.

The prizes for the Facebook photo winners will be three $250 Visa gift cards and the millionth person will received $500 cash.

Thomas said the millionth person can be anyone in or out of Walker County, but the other $10,000 in cash and prizes provided by the merchants of Huntsville will be awarded to visitors to the center who do not live in Walker County.

“Merchants who donate to the campaign will be featured on Web sites leading up to the day their donated items are given away,” Thomas said. “We hope highlighting some of the unique vendors we have here in Huntsville will bring even more visitors to the City.”

The statue was created 18 years ago and has seen people from over 115 countries. Thomas said the center would love for students or organizations from the SHSU campus to adopt the statue for volunteer purposes. She also urged the people of Huntsville, as well as the college students, to come visit the statue.

“By promoting Huntsville through the millionth person campaign, we will create a greater excitement and awareness of Huntsville as a destination,” Thomas said. “If you haven’t visited the statue before, now is the time.”

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