Connecticut Tourism Going to the Dogs?

The state sees new tourism dollars in finding and highlighting “dog-friendly” places in its “Still Revolutionary” tourism campaign.


They protect our homes and love us unconditionally. Now our dogs could help boost our state’s tourism industry.

At least, that’s the view of state tourism officials, who want to compile a list of “dog-friendly” attractions in Connecticut, places where visitors can bring the family pet along on vacations or daytrips.

That’s what Skip Bergstrom, deputy commissioner of Connecticut’s Department of Economic and Community Development, recently told Diane Smith during a television interview on the state’s $27 million “Still Revolutionary” tourism campaign.

Connecticut’s tourism industry relies heavily on visitors who drive here from large population centers, such as New York and Boston. Many of those people probably would like to bring their dogs along on those trips, Bergstrom said.

Brian October 05, 2012 at 10:58 AM
Just what we need. Dogs running around, unleashed, and owners who let them crap, jump and threaten while thinking everybody else must love their animal because, well, because dogs are really people too. Sound silly? Try Penfield since the start of October. It's gross.
Gideon Tomlinson October 05, 2012 at 11:19 AM
You are right. No matter how cute you think your dog is, it is not right to let it run at other folks at Penfield while growling at them.
Peter October 05, 2012 at 12:33 PM
Not everyone agrees, but for many, dogs indeed are a vital part of their lives, and are considered "family," often as though they were children. I have many good friends whose lives are focused around their dogs, and they are among the most respectable and conscientious citizens in the community. They would neiher consider or defend allowing their dogs to annoy others, whether at the beach, or elsewhere. And fair-minded dog guardians would never proclaim that their dogs "are people too," using that to trample the interests of others. There will always be competition for shared public spaces. Fairfield beaches are available for families with dogs only during the winter months. It cost the Town nothing to administer. We have formed a group--Fairfield Beach Access--and work extraordinarily hard to manage this interaction and have done so mostly sucessfully for several years. We have a good relationship with the First Selectman, P&RC, and Animal Control. Our group supports respect for the opinions of ALL, but most especially for those who may disagree with us. We point out that dogs are NOT allowed unleashed at Penfield, and that their guardians are REQUIRED to clean up after them. We are frustrated that the reputation of the dog guardian community at-large is impugned by the transgressions of a minority of selfish and careless individuals... and wish they would just stay away. We will work on this problem. Let us know how you feel: http://www.fairfieldbeachaccess.org
Fairfield Resident October 05, 2012 at 12:38 PM
All dogs should be controlled on a leash at ALL times when in public spaces. Let them run freely in your own fenced (visible &/or invisible) yard!
Peter October 06, 2012 at 05:01 AM
Dogs confined to back yards often develop behavioral issues that become problems for their guardians and the community-at-large. Jennings Beach is the only of 7 Fairfield beaches available for families with unleashed dogs, and only during the "off season" (winter: October - March). During much of that time, it is cold or bitterly inclement, and Jennings is nearly or completely deserted... except for those with dogs. Fairfield spends money supporting every conceivable passive or active recreational activity in its public and open spaces, and all its residents are rightly proud of that. It's important to remember that Fairfield families with dogs are among those who pay those taxes. Unlike those other activities, however, beach access costs the Town nothing. FBA members even provide their own trash receptacle. Beach access with dogs offers an absolutely critical and irreplaceable opportunity for social interaction, which many treasure and anticipate all year. It bonds both neighbors and strangers alike into friends and strengthens community spirit. It enhances the Town's reputation across the county and tri-state area. Many families with dogs travel great distances on weekends and spend money in Town while visiting. We know families who bought homes here because of its winter beach access for dogs.


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