CHEYENNE, Wy.(KGWN)- Lawmakers on the Joint Travel, Recreation, Wildlife & Cultural Resources Committee, including Chairman Senator Fred Emerich (Laramie County), are looking at increasing tourism to an area just north of Cheyenne.
This plan is included in House Bill 21 and 22.
To start, House Bill 21 will name several locations across the state as historical sites. One that is included in Laramie County is the Quebec 1 Missile Alert Facility. Also on the list are:
Platte County – Trail Ruts and Register Cliff Units
Converse County – Camp Douglas Site
Campbell County – LX Bar Ranch Site
Looking specifically at the Quebec 1 site, lawmakers are going an extra step with House Bill 22. The bill would implement entry fees for those visiting this newly named historic site.
This site sits just north of Cheyenne and has been undergoing renovations by F.E. Warren for the past two years.
From the mid-1980s to 2005 the facility was connected to a peacekeeper missile. It was decommissioned because of a treaty with Russia. Since then, the renovations have turned the facility into a museum for the public.
In a recent report included in HB 22, the Department of State Parks says sites like Quebec 1 do well for tourism. In fact, they could draw in anywhere from 50,000 – 80,000 visitors every year.
Also in their report, the Department says by implementing a $5 entry fee per person, they could generate $300,000 every year; leading to nearly $1 Million in revenue by 2021 if the site was to open by 2019.
This revenue collected from site fees would go toward necessary expenses for development, operations, personnel and maintenance of the site. The bill states that remaining funds collected from admissions fee may be deposited in the State Parks Account.
State Parks estimates total expenditures in the upcoming 2019-20 biennium will be $380,909. To get the site operations initially going the Department made a one-time exception budget request to Governor Mead for that cost of $380,909 from the General Fund.
Looking to the future, the goal is to make this facility self-sufficient. Although the one permanent person would be an ongoing expense, the seasonal funds and operating expenses would need to be adjusted to match anticipated revenues.