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

About baseball teams and "gimmicks" - wouldn't it be nice, though, if a major league team did keep some of those community-oriented activities for their fans? Having dog night or 10 cent beer night may be done to draw in people, but that does not mean they are meaningless gimmicks that everyone is better off without after the team grows. They are good in themselves, giving the team personality and creating a connection between the team and its fans. Sure, the major league team may be able to stop doing these things and just "sell out every night all season long" - but is that the point? To just sell out? I don't think Charleston will last if we say, well, we've made it to the top, and that's all that matters. As long as we have tons of tourists flowing in and paying us their money, what else could matter? That's just not Charleston. The carriages have long contributed to the personality of our city and helped to tell our story. They are not a "gimmick" any more than our good food or our beautiful buildings or our hospitality are - they are our way to encourage visitors to take a step back, slow down, enjoy our city, and get to know it.

As for the animals, you recommend we "remove" them from Charleston so they can be saved from car fumes, heat, and weight, and so we can find parking spots quicker. Remove the horses and mules? What happens to them? We do not breed these animals for use in the industry - they are purchased later in life and enabled to work (only 152 days per year on average at Palmetto Carriage, I might add) for ample food, safe housing, incredible medical care, and a whole lot of loving. The saying goes that you don't throw the baby out with the bathwater - that is easier said than done when it comes to horses and mules. An important question to ask, then, is why throw out the bathwater at all if it isn't even dirty? I'm just saying, if the water's going to be thrown out, it had better be dirty and you had better have some clean water to fill the tub again.

We in the carriage industry are not just "worried about [our] jobs and businesses" - we also worry about the animals' welfare, about Charleston's history and ensuring it is kept alive, about our city's millions of visitors, about our way of life. Our horses, stables, and carriages are not just "overhead" to us. They are our coworkers, our home, and our tools. You can keep your air conditioning and your 150 horsepower - we'll stick to coastal breezes and 1 or 2 horse and mule power as long as we can.

26 of 42 people like this.
Posted by Marina Hart on September 28, 2016 at 1:17 PM

Re: “Stegelin: How to not get shot by police

if it wasnt so fucked up it would be funny.

9 of 14 people like this.
Posted by bigideal0904 on September 28, 2016 at 1:02 PM

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.

15 of 30 people like this.
Posted by bippy007 on September 28, 2016 at 12:46 PM

Re: “Watch Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton square off in the first 2016 presidential debate

Sound familiar?…

The New York Times today published a review of a new biography on Adolf Hitler and the twitterverse is snickering over its many thinly-veiled allusions to Donald Trump. Here’s an excerpt:

Hitler was an effective orator and actor, Mr. Ullrich reminds readers, adept at assuming various masks and feeding off the energy of his audiences. Although he concealed his anti-Semitism beneath a “mask of moderation” when trying to win the support of the socially liberal middle classes, he specialized in big, theatrical rallies staged with spectacular elements borrowed from the circus. Here, “Hitler adapted the content of his speeches to suit the tastes of his lower-middle-class, nationalist-conservative, ethnic-chauvinist and anti-Semitic listeners,” Mr. Ullrich writes. He peppered his speeches with coarse phrases and put-downs of hecklers. Even as he fomented chaos by playing to crowds’ fears and resentments, he offered himself as the visionary leader who could restore law and order.

Hitler increasingly presented himself in messianic terms, promising “to lead Germany to a new era of national greatness,” though he was typically vague about his actual plans. He often harked back to a golden age for the country, Mr. Ullrich says, the better “to paint the present day in hues that were all the darker. Everywhere you looked now, there was only decline and decay.”

Hitler’s repertoire of topics, Mr. Ullrich notes, was limited, and reading his speeches in retrospect, “it seems amazing that he attracted larger and larger audiences” with “repeated mantralike phrases” consisting largely of “accusations, vows of revenge and promises for the future.” But Hitler virtually wrote the modern playbook on demagoguery, arguing in “Mein Kampf” that propaganda must appeal to the emotions — not the reasoning powers — of the crowd. Its “purely intellectual level,” Hitler said, “will have to be that of the lowest mental common denominator among the public it is desired to reach.” Because the understanding of the masses “is feeble,” he went on, effective propaganda needed to be boiled down to a few slogans that should be “persistently repeated until the very last individual has come to grasp the idea that has been put forward.”

3 of 6 people like this.
Posted by tupper29406 on September 28, 2016 at 12:37 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.

25 of 42 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.

15 of 23 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 ...

21 of 34 people like this.
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.

24 of 39 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.

33 of 52 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.

30 of 51 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.

41 of 64 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.)

24 of 35 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.

41 of 72 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

49 of 77 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!

49 of 85 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.

56 of 88 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.

61 of 91 people like this.
Posted by Ruthierosa on September 28, 2016 at 9:08 AM
Posted by tupper29406 on September 28, 2016 at 8:17 AM

Re: “Watch Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton square off in the first 2016 presidential debate

SOCIAL MEDIA. The best memes that resulted from the Presidential debate.…

2 of 6 people like this.
Posted by tupper29406 on September 28, 2016 at 8:04 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.

70 of 124 people like this.
Posted by Lea Cullen Boyer on September 28, 2016 at 7:52 AM
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