In taking over Carhenge, the automotive replica of England’s prehistoric Stonehenge, the City of Alliance has moved to preserve a quirky attraction — and a valuable parade of tourists.
The city will take possession of the 10-acre site Oct. 1, a gift from the nonprofit Friends of Carhenge group. City Manager J.D. Cox said Alliance will spend about $15,000 in grounds improvements. Sales and donations are expected to continue to cover the annual $39,000 maintenance costs, he said.
It makes sense. And, hopefully, dollars and cents.
Carhenge frequently appears on national lists of must-see, offbeat tourist sites. It draws more than 80,000 visitors annually, nearly 10 times Alliance’s population. The guest book shows travelers from all 50 states and 35 countries so far this year. And officials say Carhenge has an estimated $8 million annual economic impact on Alliance.
So give Alliance residents and officials credit for thinking outside the box. Or, in this case, outside the circle.