CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) – Even before cannons sound to mark the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War, tourism in this antebellum city where the conflict began is already booming. The thousands of re-enactors and visitors expected to arrive this weekend for Tuesday’s re-creation of the first shots of the war will simply add to what’s shaping up as one of the best tourism seasons in years.
“It’s going to be a big event. Anytime you have an event like that in a city the economic impact from hotels to restaurants to seeing other tourist sites is huge,” said Geoff Cipkala, a vice president of Gateway Hospitality that operates four Charleston area hotels. Katie Chapman of the Charleston Convention and Visitors Bureau says hotels are crowded, but had no firm projection on how many people may be drawn by the anniversary events. Other draws this weekend include the Family Circle Cup tennis tournament.
Other major Civil War battlegrounds host yearly re-enactments that allow planners to project from past events, but it’s been years since the last big Civil War event in Charleston…. read on!