The NGage economic development group has joined the list of organizations formally supporting a name change for the area’s largest tourism attraction.
The proposal calls for renaming Homestead National Monument of America to Homestead National Historical Park.
NGage Director Walker Zulkoski discussed the change during Tuesday’s NGage meeting, and what it could mean for the area.
“Everything we’re seeing is that it will be a positive change for Gage County and Homestead National Monument to change the name to more reflect what the actual use is of the park,” he said.
Zulkoski said the thought process behind the name change is that many visitors think the National Park Site west of Beatrice is just a monument, and don’t realize it has a visitors center, trail system and several events.
Additionally, some visitors to the NPS site are surprised to not find a physical monument, as the name implies.
Zulkoski said Congressman Adrian Smith has introduced legislation to change the name.
“Congressman Smith introduced some legislation at the Federal level on behalf of the Friends of Homestead to change the name of Homestead National Monument to Homestead National Historical Park,” he said. “It’s worked its way through the system and is at the point where they’re going to have a hearing next week.”
NGage joins the Beatrice City Council and Gage County Board of Supervisors in providing written support for the name change, which Zulkoski hopes will boost the attraction to even larger visitor numbers.
“Other parks have changed their name to better reflect their uses and their numbers have gone up,” he said. “They think they should see a substantial increase by having a name that more reflects what’s actually going on at the park.”