By Diane Sterne
Let’s face it – we live in a unique town with a unique group of people. The “welcome” signs to Coalmont show that. But what do we want for our town? It’s interesting to talk to tourists visiting, but what do we want them to see when they come here? There are many “closet” entrepreneurs hidden in our midst. It would be great to have you come out and shine. We have bakers, knitters, artists, wood workers, candle makers, prospectors and the list goes on; but very few realize this as they race past our our sleepy village.
Coalmont has potential. I doubt if anyone wants to see it turn into a bustling yuppie-town of lattes and biscotti so why not reinvent it using an historic and pioneer theme? Quads and dirt bikes may be fun for some but what about a good, old fashioned wagon ride with horses? I personally prefer the sound of clopping horse hooves to revving engines. If someone wanted to make money, they could offer horse drawn wagon rides from the Granite Creek Campground, through Coalmont and back again pointing out the original buildings in Coalmont and what they were. Perhaps the need wouldn’t be big enough to offer the service during the week, but on summer weekends, I’m sure it would be a hit with visitors. The wagon could even stop somewhere in Coalmont to drop off its tourists at an old fashioned Ice Cream Parlour/Fudge/Candy Shop. Every hot weekend, we have people asking us if there is any place they can purchase ice cream. Someone else could sell home made sandwiches and desserts or set up a fire pit and sell hot dogs and marshmallows that visitors can purchase and cook themselves. Local crafters could get together to sell beautiful hand made items and jewelry made from local gold nuggets. I know there are many fabulous gardeners in Coalmont. Why not sell produce and flowers from your gardens? Campers would love fresh produce without having to drive all the way back to Princeton. For someone who was really creative and had enough land, what about a mini-golf with a prospecting theme? Hit the ball down the sluice box, through a rocker box, into a hole in a sniping rock, around and around a gold pan – you get the idea. One of our local prospectors could offer gold panning tours and sell gold pans as well. Is there any way part of the river could be roped off and someone could offer lazy river “rafting” on inner tubes? At Halloween, the Coalmont Hotel could provide Ghost Tours. They could set speakers under the boardwalk and play the sound of women’s heels clicking along it (the ghost of Hattie McBride? – every old town should have a local ghost). Someone with astronomical knowledge could offer evening star gazing.
We are so blessed to live in this beautiful town and we can have tourists without the raucous, loud music and racing cars. We just have to set a tone for our town and I am confident that with all the hidden talent we have here it is possible to make Coalmont THE place to visit. As the ad to our new Motel is going to read, “Mozey-On-Inn and discover what Coalmont has to offer.” ~ DS
By Diane Sterne