Narrow Search

  • Show Only

  • Category

  • Narrow by Date

    • All
    • Today
    • Last 7 Days
    • Last 30 Days
    • Select a Date Range

Comment Archives: Stories: News+Opinion: Guest Columnist

Re: “It's time to give up the carriage tour gimmick

Too add to the already many great rThe "author" is very much comparing apples to oranges with the comparison of Charleston to Ghettysburg. Ghettysburg battle field is just that... It's a large open loosely defined area with more space than there is stuff to look at. Monuments here and there, but so spread out a vehicle makes sense. Downtown Charleston, densely populated, small streets, the last thing needed are more cars... Let's say, you replace each carriage in the city with the approximate number of cars needed to accommodate the number of people going out on the carriages. One carriage holds the capacity to carry 16 adults plus 1 driver. In my experience (a decade of it in the industry) on average the carriages carry 13adults and 2 kids+1 tour guide which equals 16 people. (Of course those numbers fluctuate but for the sake of the argument...) at 15 guests, that would break down to a private setting with 2 sedans: 4 guests and a guide and a small van :7 guests and a guide. That means 3 vehicles for every carriage you take out. Given we have between the 5 companies a minimum of 35 carriages working on a single day, we would need 105 extra vehicles. Those extra vehicles driving around town would be doing so slowly, like the carriages so people can get a good look at everything. Or pulling over so frequently using up gallons and gallons of gas. 105 extra vehicles may not seem like a whole lot, but it is in such a small space. I, like Mark said, think you should really dig into the industry before judging it. Why don't you go to the companies and ask how things operate. How we are regulated and operated by the city. You'll see it's not just an integral part of Charleston's history or economy, but also its spirit. There are so many tours you can take, besides carriage tours. And if someone just wanted to take a "tour" they'd find a different way. People WANT to take a carriage tour. As a friend once pointed out. Whenever Charleston appears in a nationally published article on coming "first" in the nation for whatever reason, there is almost always a carriage photographed on our beautiful scenic streets. Carriages are not just a "thing" for Charleston, they are part of its Identity.

1 of 1 people like this.
Posted by bippy007 on September 28, 2016 at 12:46 PM

Re: “It's time to give up the carriage tour gimmick

Denise Burke, what makes you think that the care of the horses or their stables are currently inadequate? The carriage business in Charleston is a thriving, popular, humane business just the way it is.

1 of 1 people like this.
Posted by Christina Hansen on September 28, 2016 at 12:32 PM

Re: “It's time to give up the carriage tour gimmick

I read this column's headline and was so hopeful to find an insightful suggestion as to how the carriage companies can adapt to catch up to the Charleston we locals know now, perhaps to upgrade the entire approach so that visitors can truly grasp the history AND present of our great city. New routes, updated and REAL topics in the guides' oh-so-tired, empty, rehearsed speeches we all hear as the carriages amble past. (If I hear one more guide tell a group of tourists they haven't truly been to the south until they've enjoyed a moon pie and an RC cola, I'm going to go ape shit, so help me god.) But proposing guides hop in people's cars to show them around? You've got to be kidding me. The absolute last thing we need here is more cars on the streets of downtown. The carriage companies should change for the better, just as Charleston has; but they do not need to be replaced by more vehicle traffic.

1 of 1 people like this.
Posted by pedicabby on September 28, 2016 at 12:31 PM

Re: “It's time to give up the carriage tour gimmick

What about peddle carriage tours??

Perhaps the horse carriages should not frequent high traffic areas ... maybe limiting their use to below Broad ??

This is a important conversation .... perhaps we can aid the carriage tour owners by providing better stabling and higher ticket prices? This could potentially compute to a better environment for the horses ...

Let's keep talking about it.

Thanks for keeping the tone calm in your article ...

Posted by Denise Burks on September 28, 2016 at 12:17 PM

Re: “It's time to give up the carriage tour gimmick

I am all for change in Charleston. But, instead of giving up the horses, how about stop building on the peninsula and make downtown only for bike cabs, carriage rides, trolleys, and pedestrians? I dont know if downtown could fit another million on the streets.. getting rid of the horse and carriage tours will make room for more traffic.. and I also highly doubt that would be a good enough reason for the carriage company owners to give up their lifestyles and reputations as the horse and carriage dudes.. In Charleston if you have a title linked to will do anything to die with it.

5 of 5 people like this.
Posted by Amber Smith on September 28, 2016 at 11:47 AM

Re: “It's time to give up the carriage tour gimmick

In case the writer of this article doesn't realize it, there already are driving tours of Charleston, private cars, buses, etc ... and oddly enough, more than 70% per cent of folks who choose to tour, choose a carriage, simply for the open air, intimate exeprience. As a tour guide I have given every kind of tour in Charleston (buses, prvt. car, walking and carriage) and by far, the carriage is the most rewarding. Please come take me tour and then judge.

9 of 9 people like this.
Posted by wickedmark on September 28, 2016 at 11:26 AM

Re: “It's time to give up the carriage tour gimmick

All other feelings aside, I support the Carriage Tours. I have lived in the area since 1993 and thought I had absorbed all the History. I was of the belief that the Carriage tours were for "Tourists." Two years ago I reluctantly took a tour with visiting family, all but resolute that I would not enjoy it and that I was being dragged along. I could not have been more wrong. I learned so much about the Historic areas downtown and the History, for example how much avoiding the British tariffs had an effect on Charleston architecture. It really opened my eyes. Without these tours, so much of this History would be lost and the educational opportunities it presented would be squandered. We did see the great efforts that were in place to safeguard the welfare of the Horses. The guides had a genuine concern and a valid relationship with their horses and their welfare was tantamount.

10 of 10 people like this.
Posted by markfullercot on September 28, 2016 at 10:54 AM

Re: “It's time to give up the carriage tour gimmick

There are children that love the sight, smell and clip clop of horses in cities like you once did. Remember yourself then and ensure that other children get access to these wonderful animals and people that care for them.

It is not just about tradition, it is about ensuring the bond between humans and horses live on through us.

16 of 16 people like this.
Posted by Bernadette McCulloch Kelly on September 28, 2016 at 10:49 AM

Re: “It's time to give up the carriage tour gimmick

Used to see a lot of guides working on my corner in New York City. Guys would drive in all the way from New Jersey just to tour my (not historic, not pretty) block in their SUVs.
Seriously, Bush League — does ANYONE drive two, four, eight hours to Charleston so they can drive around some more, staring out their own car window and looking for parking spaces? And has any MLB team had a 10 Cent Beer night since Cleveland in 1974? (BTW, our 2nd place NLE Mets still have "Bark at the Park" every spring. We bring our dogs to the game and we LOVE it because we LOVE animals.)

9 of 9 people like this.
Posted by Jil Derryberry on September 28, 2016 at 10:48 AM

Re: “It's time to give up the carriage tour gimmick

Where DO people like you get the idea that they should be allowed to chart the course of someone else's life and "propose alternatives" just because THEY don't like what they do? By your own admission, the incident of a horse losing a shoe was promptly attended to...and as horse owners know, is a fairly common and insignificant occurrence, on a par with a woman having one of her "press on" fingernails come off. Yet, based on that incident, among others that you obviously lack the equine knowledge to understand, YOU have decided that simply because YOU feel it is "unnecessary" for horses to live and work in Charleston, you and others of your ilk should have the legal right to destroy lives and end a loved and thriving attraction that many others obviously enjoy. It costs a lot of money to feed and care for a draft horse...that the carriage companies are doing enough business to provide top notch care (and by your own admission, the incident that has you up in arms was cared for promptly and professionally, with the horse suffering no ill effects) for the horses, owners and staff proves that yours is an outlier opinion. And..."get rid of the horses"? REALLY? Have you failed to consider that people who have chosen to spend their lives working in partnership with animals are highly unlikely to consider them as "disposable" as you obviously do? Do you simply "get rid" of your pets (if, in fact, you have any) when they become "inconvenient" for you to keep? I sincerely hope that Charleston officials will take a long hard look at Mayor Bill DeBlasio's ill advised and futile attempt to shut down the thriving NYC horse carriage business...and unless they too are willing to commit political suicide, will ignore your suggestions with the contempt they deserve. Finally...suggesting that horsemen and horsewomen with decades of equine experience should be willing to trade their careers that they love for a job as a "tour guide", something more suited to a college kid earning extra money; is so breathtakingly arrogant that I can only respond to that by suggesting that YOU trade your "career" as a writer and do the same. I'm sure tourists will be more than willing to allow you to squeeze into their cars with them and point to attractions they can peer at through the car windows. The carriage rides are about the HORSE...something you even admit you enjoyed as a child, but are willing to deny to a new generation.

20 of 21 people like this.
Posted by Victorena Minchew on September 28, 2016 at 10:05 AM

Re: “It's time to give up the carriage tour gimmick

ridiculous-the "shoe being ripped off" is no big deal-horses everywhere pull shoes on occasion. The horse is fine. This is not a cruel activity for horses, the work is very easy for them and the carriage business gives tem homes, places to exist in our modern world. Keep them

23 of 25 people like this.
Posted by Thomas D Neese on September 28, 2016 at 9:44 AM

Re: “It's time to give up the carriage tour gimmick

What a pompous, arrogant article. So your view is the only correct view? Not hardly! Some of the other comments are SPOT ON!

26 of 29 people like this.
Posted by Marcella Covault on September 28, 2016 at 9:23 AM

Re: “It's time to give up the carriage tour gimmick

Wow. I really don't see how you can call yourself an animal lover and condemn a small business that caters to the horse and the horse's well being. The thought of horses being free may make you feel as though you have liberated a whole species, but in fact you have sentenced most to death. Horses are not cheap to care for properly. $300 is the cost to shoe drafts in my area - that is per horse every 6 weeks. That doesn't include feed, water, hay, vet bills, barns to house during bad weather, bedding plus the time and labor to feed, scoop stalls. Oh wait, you need trucks and trailers too to take them to the vet. But don't forget, these horses tend to be taller than average, so that means a more expensive custom trailer. Horses without jobs are dead horses. When tractors became the go to piece of farming equipment, the working breeds nearly became extinct. Do you prefer extiction?

2 years ago in Mexico, all circus animals were banned. They were sent to zoos and sanctuaries, 80% are now dead. Is that acceptable to you? Is that humane? That is what you want to happen? Then in no way are you an animal lover.

28 of 29 people like this.
Posted by Tristine Slayton on September 28, 2016 at 9:11 AM

Re: “It's time to give up the carriage tour gimmick

By the writer's own admission it was the carriage horses that built the much loved Charleston of today. They were the takeaway that visitors loved. I'll bet that is still true today. As such they should be cherished and celebrated and given the best possible conditions to ensure they flourish. After all, visitors do not visit great cities for the traffic.

30 of 32 people like this.
Posted by Ruthierosa on September 28, 2016 at 9:08 AM

Re: “It's time to give up the carriage tour gimmick

The carriage horses are like The Arts. They kept beauty and relief in the downtown area in hard times and flourish in good times. They calm traffic. Although you may shark to park, carries reduce speed through areas with heavy foot traffic. They offer a quiet and gentle experience in a bustling successful downtown and make your city a better tourist destination. Keep what works, keep the beauty.

36 of 43 people like this.
Posted by Lea Cullen Boyer on September 28, 2016 at 7:52 AM

Re: “If Charleston doesn't get real about social diversity it's going to feel a world of pain

a "world of pain" threatened and then never defined. pointing out the obvious is not journalism. only thing painful here is the editing.

3 of 4 people like this.
Posted by ncspartan on September 25, 2016 at 10:59 AM

Re: “If Charleston doesn't get real about social diversity it's going to feel a world of pain

We have an opportunity for Burke to become this high school, and there are many people already working to that end. As with any change, there are several different visions of what Burke should become. If we can get through these conversations with our shared goal in mind, we can move forward and make some big and positive changes in the lives of downtown families!

2 of 3 people like this.
Posted by Heather K on September 25, 2016 at 9:55 AM

Re: “If Charleston doesn't get real about social diversity it's going to feel a world of pain

Fixing our downtown schools will be a huge help. Lifelong friendships, shared experiences, and perceptions start there. The city has recently revamped the downtown elementary schools, and there's now good diversity in them because white families with young kids aren't leaving downtown when their kids become school age. The next task - and it's a big one - is creating an academically successful and racially diverse high school with a strong athletics program. When I think back to my high school days, sports and clubs offered a chance to practice, play, travel, develop friendships with, and meet the families of people of different races. We were literally on the same team. There are no options for this to happen downtown today (aside from Buist, which is extremely hard to get I to). This challenge is a critical one to solve to bring Charleston's downtown residents together. Parents can't meet different parents of the downtown school soccer team or tennis team if one doesn't exist.

2 of 3 people like this.
Posted by Heather K on September 25, 2016 at 8:27 AM

Re: “If Charleston doesn't get real about social diversity it's going to feel a world of pain

My friends from church here in the England sent their daughter to Charleston for a studies 3 years ago. She came back after less than a year. The reason? She could stomach the covert racist attitudes and covert practices of her fellow WHITE colleagues. In case I'm not clear SHE IS WHITE. What she reported home was distressing. Shame on you Charleston. It's 2016 not 1816!

2 of 7 people like this.
Posted by Derek Mills on September 24, 2016 at 7:36 AM

Re: “If Charleston doesn't get real about social diversity it's going to feel a world of pain

My mother grew up in a part of downtown that was mostly white in the 50's. Then it became mostly black by the 70's (without fanfare, complaint or social justice warrior mobilization).

Now it's some sort of holocaust because it's becoming mostly white again?

All of the above happened as a function of Americans choosing where they wanted to live and selling / buying private property.

4 of 5 people like this.
Posted by Cid95 1 on September 23, 2016 at 2:51 PM
Classified Listings

Powered by Foundation   © Copyright 2016, Charleston City Paper   RSS