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As numbers increase, Gettysburg will study walking tours

After hearing concerns from a local business owner about the proliferation of walking tours that are not following borough guidelines, the Gettysburg Borough Council said it will create an ad hoc committee of council members and business owners to study the problem.

“There are tour companies out there that are less than professional,” said tour owner Cindy Codori Shultz. Shultz said she had been conducting walking tours since 1997 from the Farnsworth House.

Shultz said people come daily to her business to ask for information or refunds from tour companies that were operating from addresses that did not exist.

Shultz also said she had tour groups of 40 or more coming up on her property where they are not supposed to be. “I don’t know how to address this problem,” she said. “I’m coming here for answers. What can I do?”

The borough said the number of tours has increased recently but that there are restrictions. Tours are only allowed to have 26 people, and may not be in the street or block sidewalks. Also, the tours must stay away from each other.

Business Manager Charles Gable said there are currently 17 licensed guide tours and that the issues Schultz raised are the “tip of the iceberg on number of issues that are beginning to proliferate here.”

Gable said some tours begin at Unity Park on Lefever St. and that there has been limited enforcement by code officers.

The borough said all of the companies were registered at a valid address but that the addresses could not be released to the public.  Gable said all companies pay the required amusement tax.

The committee will consider changes such as limiting the number of tours or making other changes to the ordinance.

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Charles Stangor is Gettysburg Connection's Publisher and Editor in Chief.

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