We’ve all had those lazy weekends, walking down Duke of Gloucester Street enjoying a beautiful day or procrastinating on that 10-page paper due Monday. While College of William and Mary students are often drawn to Colonial Williamsburg in search of hot cider and bread ends, rarely do students actually take advantage of the free passes to museums that the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation offers. Under a new plan from the foundation, students will continue to receive free admission, and faculty, staff, alumni and parents of students of the College will also get discounts. Faculty and staff will receive free passes, parents of students will receive a 50 percent discount and alumni will receive a 25 percent discount. While this strategy won’t cost the foundation too much, it will allow members of the College community more chances to visit and interact with Colonial Williamsburg.
The new discounts from the foundation most likely can be attributed to the fact that tourism in the area has been low in recent years. It also makes sense for the foundation to form closer ties with the College. The foundation has always emphasized the long-term relationship between Colonial Williamsburg and the College — which is kind of a no brainer, since the College predates the City of Williamsburg by several years.
This new partnership also requires students to visit Colonial Williamsburg in order to obtain their free passes. Only an annual pass, which can be picked up at the Visitor’s Center or the Lumber House, will be accepted at the sites.
The benefits of this new deal aren’t just the discounts — although we do love discounts — but it will bring more individuals connected to the College to Colonial Williamsburg. On those awkward afternoons when your parents are in town with nothing to do, you can now direct them to Colonial Williamsburg and to that lovely 50 percent discount on tickets.
This move also may be useful in bringing back alumni, since the discounts are also good at hotels connected to the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. Alumni will be able to return to their alma mater and reminisce about their former glory days.
The College and Colonial Williamsburg have had a strong relationship, and this new campaign from the foundation, with its discounted passes, hotel stays, bus tickets and even Kimball Theater tickets, will strengthen this existing relationship.
We live just down the street from Colonial Williamsburg, so we should seize this new opportunity to pick up that annual pass and use it to our TWAMP-y hearts’ content. Let your parents get a pass to give you some rest from too much family bonding. We look forward to the formation of a deeper relationship between the College and the foundation — and for the opportunity to go to Colonial Williamsburg with greater purpose than jumping the Governor’s Palace wall.