Update on Economics of the Hopewell Hopeful

A second gathering Tuesday afternoon gave a community update on the hoped-for nomination of the Hopewell Earthworks to a United Nations listing.

More than 60 government, business, and tourism leaders heard about progress and possibilities for the prehistoric earthworks in Ross County and elsewhere in Ohio, in Adena Health System's PACCAR Center.

Jen Aultman is the World Heritage Director at the Ohio History Connection. She mentioned a study by Ohio University about what can happen when the "Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks" could get worldwide recognition in 2022 or 2023.

She says in just the first three years after designation, visitation would double and the three counties where the eight sites are would see about $12.5 million in economic impact per year - and that's without any further development of the visitor experience.

Aultman says, just publicity about the effort has raised awareness already - with more visitation to our local Hopewell Culture National Historical Park.

Aside from the Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks website and the "Ancient Ohio Trail" immersive digital experience, a new way to understand the world of the Hopewell is a newly published 30-page booklet about all the sites being nominated, the $3.50 "Guide To the Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks."

Kevin Coleman regularly reports on Chillicothe & Circleville councils and local culture

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