RICHMOND, Va. — Warning that the city’s revenue could face more disaster if the monuments are further tampered with, the Richmond Tourism Board (RTB) saw a five trillion percent decrease in tourism to the capital city in the days following the destruction of both Monument Avenue’s Jefferson Davis monument and Byrd Park’s Christopher Columbus monument, the organization revealed Thursday.
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“After the protesters took down Columbus in Byrd Park, Richmond practically turned into a ghost town overnight—all of the streets empty—and it has nothing to do with COVID-19” Danielle Perkins, an official with the Richmond Tourism Board, explained, adding that apparently the city’s vibrant and diverse culture was doing nothing to bring in tourists.
“We always thought it was the restaurants, breweries, the quirky neighborhoods, and the art community that was bringing people to the city, but apparently it’s been the damn Davis monument doing the heavy lifting all along. So much for the culinary scene we thought was truly something special.”
“Apparently the flaggers and the preservation groups were right; we didn’t realize so many people came to the river city just to stare at an underwhelming statue for two minutes and then leave,” Perkins continued. “Personally, I usually only saw, if anyone, one or two people at a monument at any given time, but perhaps weekend afternoons are an off-time for sightseeing.”
Perkins noted that the city may have to rethink taking down the remaining monuments, otherwise the decline in tourism could worsen. She doesn’t yet know how some of the lesser known Confederate monuments, Wickham and Howitzer, will affect these statistics and doesn’t want to fathom what will happen if any of the bigger ones come down.
“Who knows what might happen if we take down Lee; this could largely jeopardize our chances of making it onto the next BuzzFeed listicle about trendy places for a weekend getaway now. If the Maury monument comes down, we might as well just burn the city down like the Confederates did.”
“Even the Civil War Museum downtown saw a near instantaneous drop of patrons, which we thought was synonymous with Confederate monuments, but apparently not,” she added.
The RTB ended their statement by revealing that, in an effort to bring tourists back to the city, they were working out a deal with Seibert’s Towing that would allow visitors to view the monuments in the towing company’s storage lot.
“It’s either that, or we try to get another NFL team to hold their training camp here.”