Visitors from across the nation have stopped in to see pieces of Macon's history like the Cannonball House, Hay House, and the Sidney Lanier Cottage.

Lately, directors of those homes say tourist numbers have been dropping from this time last year.

Janis Haley with the Sidney Lanier Cottage says, "Our visitation is down, I would say, close to 65 percent of what it used to be."

The Cherry Blossom festival usually brings in more traffic through those places, but some say with the economy burning holes in people's pockets, those numbers have started tapering off.

"We're always anticipating large crowds, but sometimes in the past couple of years, we've been a little disappointed," says Cannonball House director Earl Colvin.

"It's sort of a problem in our culture about knowledge of history and about visitation for historical sites," adds Jonathan Poston from the Hay House.

This year, house directors hope while Macon paints the town pink, their bank accounts won't be seeing red.

"You staff up for that period of time, but then if it's not a large number of tourists to come in, then you inherit that extra staff cost and that's hard to recoup," explains Colvin.

These houses run on donations and tour fees, and making up for 30 to 65 percent drops in visitors compared to a year ago will take more planning, marketing, and help from the community.

Last year, more than 200,000 people showed up to the Cherry Blossom Festival.

The 2013 events kick off March 15th and run through March 24th.

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