Downtown Hannibal business owners remain happy, despite late riverboat arrival

Nancy Kaufman stayed open later to accommodate riverboat customers.

It is not uncommon to see riverboats docking in America's Hometown.

The Queen of the Mississippi was scheduled to make a stop in Hannibal yesterday, but it came later than planned.

It's later than usual arrival to Hannibal on Thursday didn't deter the around 136 passengers from taking in what the area has to offer.

Gail Bryant, Director of the Hannibal Convention and Visitors Bureau says that despite the riverboat docking later in the day than planned, it's still a positive thing for downtown.

"We are thrilled that they stop here in Hannibal and we welcome them. The feedback we received from the passengers is they would like to have more time in Hannibal, so that's exciting I think, that they have an opportunity to get. The trolleys will take them in and around all the way down to the cave and the boyhood home. And then the different shops and boutiques that we have in the downtown. I'm glad that they like it, and they keep returning to Hannibal," Bryant said.

Passengers on the boat provide an important source of revenue for the downtown business owners.

Nancy Kaufman owns a gallery downtown, and was still in her shop when passengers arrived and says she doesn't mind staying open later.

"I knew that they were coming in late, so it didn't bother me at all. Actually I'm kind of in touch with some of the people on the boat, and they're actually going to be put me on their roster as someone who demonstrates in Hannibal so the people can look forward to coming here. So I make myself available to the boat. I'm very, very fortunate and happy that they're coming to Hannibal and of course I've got cruise wear, so nothing could be better," Bryant said.

Other downtown business owners think that the customers from the riverboat are always a good thing.

"The boats are a positive thing for Hannibal. The trolleys sometimes pick them up and they can take them on a little tour. If the boats stayed a little bit longer, which I have no control over, I don't think the CVB does either, but if they stayed a little longer, I think it would do a little bit more business here. Sometimes the folks have to decide whether they want to take a tour, or if they want to go shopping. Personally I'd like to see them do both," Bryant said.

According to Bryant, the Queen of the Mississippi will dock again in Hannibal on Sunday afternoon.