Annapolis Tourists to be Charged Admission to City

The nation’s economy has improved over the past three years, but tourist destinations, such as Annapolis, has lagged behind comparable municipalities in its fiscal recovery. However, many in city government think that they might have a solution in the form of a city admission fee.

After the financial collapse of 2008, the number of visitors to Annapolis plunged to an all-time low; a trend that did not begin to reverse until 2011. And still, the number of tourists has not even begun to approach pre-recession levels. Additionally, local residents, affected by the economic downturn, have shunned downtown Annapolis for newer shopping options, such as the Annapolis Towne Centre in Parole and the Westfield Annapolis Mall. As a result, downtown businesses have been hit hard.

“We’d have parties of ten or more who would share two or three entrees among them and nurse their glasses of water for hours at a time. It was getting depressing,” said Ryan Holter, proprietor of two downtown restaurants. “Sometimes we’d pretend that there was a kitchen fire just to get them to leave.”

As a result, the Annapolis Department of Tourism, with a blessing from the mayor and city council, has developed a thorough fee schedule for visitors to the city. Fees are tiered, depending on the locations included, as well as the duration of the visit. For example, a day pass to the City Dock sector will cost a visitor $9 for an adult and $4 for a child 12-18. Children under the age of twelve are admitted for free. If a visitor were to add Main Street, the adult admission would increase to $14. For an all-inclusive pass that would include City Dock, Main Street, Maryland Avenue, and Inner-West Street, a visitor will shell out $24 per day or $11 for a child. There would be no charge for Forest Drive or West Annapolis.

So who pays? If you are a resident of Anne Arundel County, there is no charge for admission to the city. Anyone who is not a resident of the county will be required to either purchase wristbands from the city’s Web site or in-person at the Visitors Center on West Street, City Hall on Duke of Gloucester, or a new kiosk at City Dock, just outside the Market House.

The wristbands, which are to be worn at all time by visitors while they are in the city, are color-coded to designate the level of access to city locations. Six part-time wristband monitors have been hired by the city to patrol city streets to make sure that visitors are in compliance with the new policy. These new hires will be paid for by revenue generated from the program.

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Category: City of Annapolis

About the Author ()

Hi, I'm Laura Ritz and the Intern here at The Crabwrapper. I hear that Maryland apologized for that whole slavery thing--so I have to ask how the hell they can make me bust my ass and not pay me a cent? Oh, that's right, it is for the "experience." Well, to make ends meet, you can always catch up with me at McDoogals in the Dena!

Comments (30)

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  1. Paul says:

    If this is not from the Onion all involved are idiots.

  2. Sylvia Davis says:

    WHAT, you will drive people away, what about people that live there and have friends and relatives come to visit. Not going to downtown Annapolis to eat and pay, plenty of other places to go. I guess we should charge people from Annapolis to come to Inner Harbor, Harbor East, Baltimore, etc.

  3. Nunya Biznez says:

    Please tell me this is a really bad joke.

  4. Jay Zimberg says:

    This is too early for an April Fool’s joke. This is a joke right? If not, God help you all…..

  5. Kelly Bustard says:

    This makes it official – the City of Annapolis is being run by idiots.

  6. Tom Lawrence says:

    When did O’Malley become Mayor? If this really happens, Annapolis has seen me for the last time.

  7. gdeez says:

    Um…we have a Republican Mayor! Highly doubtful that the solution would ever be taxes or fees! Don’t believe the hype peeps! Maryland/Annapolis will be staying up for air til another “tax and spend” crony is in office!

  8. jay Aldrich says:

    I won’t be coming to Annpolis any more. That is the craziest thing I’ve heard. Do they not think this will drive people away rather than attract them to the city. Never heard of such a thing. Normally you’d be looking to increase attractions and such to draw more people. NOT charge the ones that do come to support your losses. I hope whoever has made that decision reconsiders.

  9. Oh you’ve got to be kidding me. I was a Anne Arundel resident until I married my midshipmen husband and became a Navy wife. Still have family there. This had be a really bad joke for those who come back to visit USNA and then go out into Annapolis to shop and eat, the city will lose even more money.

    • KD says:

      The Crabwrapper is a satirical newspaper. Here is the info from their site “I am Mark Bobwart and I am the Editor-In-Chief of The Crabwrapper. This Website was originally created as a blog to share my experiences as a crossfit enthusiast and paleo-diet lifestylist. But it was my passion for news and news gathering that led this site to evolve into what it is today. Granted I don’t have a college degree in journalism…or even a college degree….but what I do have is passion. Passion and a knowledge of WordPress. And if the Internet has taught us anything, it is that most people believe anything people put on a Website. We’re counting on that.

      We invite you to get to know us, leave a comment, visit out Facebook page, Tweet with us and have some fun!”

  10. Nancy Veldhuis says:

    Like it seems a number of others, I hope this proposal is really a joke. As a native of D.C. metro area, dating midshipmen in my youth, I enjoy travelling to Annapolis periodically for lunch with friends, shopping in the unique downtown shops, taking in some of the historical sights with US and overseas visitors. But if I am going to be charged to visit, Annapolis becomes a tourist attraction that I certainly plan to avoid. Seems the Annapolis Department of Tourism is very short sighted and perhaps lacking in the creative imagination to promote the city….actually promoting tourism rather than discouraging it.

  11. Naptown Local says:

    This IS A JOKE! We love tourists here in Annapolis. They keep me employed. All of these stories are OBVIOUSLY written with tongue in cheek. Let’s not be too serious.

  12. liz Lind says:

    You must be kidding! What about those of us regularly doing business in Annapolis? Don’t tell me we would have to pay to come in to businesses in town? Why make it more expensive for visitors when they already aren’t coming in as frequently? This is crazy talk and an obstruction to basic freedom. Annapolis is not Disney Land created as a theme Park!

  13. mary luckett says:

    You all higher ups in Annapolis! That think this is going to help the city! Have gone completely insane!!! You will hurt your city fast!! and Will take a long time to correct Your mistake!!!

  14. David Taylor says:

    I would gladly pay to visit that tourist trap maybe in five more years they will get the AC fixed at the market house.

  15. Ann Polis says:

    REALLY bad idea.

  16. Sabine says:

    Do all of you really not understand this is satire? Obviously it’s not true. Can’t believe all the people who aren’t getting the joke…

  17. Bruce F says:

    If this is on the up and up, You can keep Annapolis to yourselves. I will not be paying a cent to walk around your city as if it were an amusement park. You will be degrading your economy even further by implementing this circus stunt. I live in Arlington,Va. There are just too many beautiful places in the Metro area to enjoy for free. You can keep Annapolis to yourselves. Bad idea!

  18. Max Scotus says:

    This is about time. Useless tourists, changing a wonderful little town that they once found quirky, then want to change it to look like some shit hole in DC, N.Va., or other multi-useless architecturally void anuses located in the region that 80% of the populace seems to enjoy. Lifeless, soulless, shit heads. Good riddance and if you want to drop by, pay for the pleasure.

  19. Samuel Snyder says:

    I was born and raised on Annapolis and I love to take people around a share the city with them. This new money making scheme insures that I will never share my birthplace again out of embarrassment because of what the city has become. No longer quaint and inviting. ..just a source of revenue for those who don’t get what this city was all about. VERY SAD!

  20. Enid Howes Marlatt says:

    I grew up in Annapolis, go every year to visit family, I HOPE this is a joke, I cannot imagine paying to see my teenage stomping grounds. AND I never sit in one place sipping water for three hours!!!

  21. Ty Ford says:

    I grew up in Annapolis from 1959 and left around 1973 for work in DC. I come to Annapolis frequently from Towson. My sister lives in Annapolis still. I need to check in and get a wrist band to see my many childhood friends and family in Annapolis?

    Please tell me who came up with this idea.

    Sincerely,

    Ty Ford

  22. Naptown Fan says:

    Hmm, some of us are a little too dense to know whether or not this is real….if not, it’s definitely not good for Annapolis reputation!!

  23. John Chaplin says:

    I will not be visiting Annapolis . Admission fee and parking fees will deter visitors.

    This will impact all merchants in the downtown. area.

  24. Arlene says:

    So, will my son have to pay a fee to go to his job in Annapolis every day?????
    I hope this is an April Fools joke and not a “we are in charge” foolish idea.

  25. The only way to make this really work is to charge everyone to leave.

  26. John Hobbs says:

    Are you kidding me!!!!! Stop charging outrageous rates for rents downtown and you will fix everything!!!!

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