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Price of a state fit for the Queen

Marketplace Staff May 4, 2007


SCOTT JAGOW: Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip are making their way through the Southern states. They’ll be at the Kentucky Derby tomorrow. Today, they’re in Virginia marking the 400th anniversary of Jamestown. It’s all very exciting — and expensive for Virginia taxpayers. Jeremy Hobson has more.

JEREMY HOBSON: What do you do when the queen comes to town? Take the day off.

Virginia’s governor gave all state employees a day off. Price tag? $11 million.

There’s also the cost of security and making everything look pretty for the queen, but the Commonwealth argues it’ll be worth it in the long run.

Tourism experts agree. Richard Perdue teaches at Virginia Tech.

RICHARD PERDUE: We could never ever begin to buy that kind of media coverage for Virginia.

He says 700 media in town may not change the landscape overnight, but he believes eventually tourists will come.

Even tax watchdog Arthur Purves who runs the Fairfax County Taxpayers Alliance isn’t throwing any tea in the harbor over the costly Jamestown Anniversary Celebration.

ARTHUR PURVES: Just as long as they do it only once every hundred years.

In Washington, I’m Jeremy Hobson for Marketplace.

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