Bringing tourism dollars to Yuma isn’t as easy as it may seem.

It’s one of the three main pillars of our economy, and yet, for it to be successful, officials constantly have to be thinking one step ahead. What’s going to draw the next batch of visitors?

And when it comes to winter visitors, planning needs to be underway for the new wave of baby boomers who are starting to retire in droves – and may not want what their parents wanted.

It’s an interesting conversation, and one that is happening nationwide, as communities consider what could be potential draws.

Yuma has one very big advantage – we’ve got terrific weather. And that will continue to be a draw for retirees.

And we’ve seen great advancements in our parks system here, with the cleanup along the riverfront, and new bicycle and walking pathways.

Our medical community is also already ahead of the curve, and is expanding to meet current and potential needs, which we see from the Yuma Regional Cancer Center, the Heart Center, and the under-construction emergency department.

But collectively, will that be enough to continue to draw those vital winter visitors, or is there more that can be done?

It’s an interesting conversation, thinking about what could bring in more tourists.

I’ve heard a variety of suggestions both in conversations and in our Letters to the Editor about the subject, such as extending the bike paths in Yuma out into the county, connecting the Foothills and the city.

Another suggestion is to add free, high-speed WiFi Internet access across the community, or at least in selected areas of Yuma County.

I’ve also heard the suggestion of building a new batch of condos and shops in close proximity to one another, connected by a system of biking trails that extended out into the community.

All of these ideas are interesting, and likely would draw more than just retirees to our area. And each of these pieces would be a direct benefit to the quality of life for our existing residents.

What else do you think will help continue to draw winter visitors? Share your ideas online at www.YumaSun.com.

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