Tourism board elects new chairperson, still more to come on future of board
March 27, 2013, By Mike Fak, The regular monthly meeting of the Abraham Lincoln Tourism Bureau of Logan County was held yesterday at the Lincoln Holiday Inn Express.
The first order of business was to elect a new chairman after the resignation of chairman Paul Gleason at last week's special meeting. Stacie Wachtel's name was brought up to replace Gleason and she was elected unanimously. Wachtel said that with her traveling schedule she wished to have a vice-chair in the event she couldn't attend a meeting. Peggy Lee from Elkhart was nominated and was also elected unanimously.
David Doolin gave a presentation to the board about creating more technological applications for the Looking for Lincoln program. Currently the roadside exhibits have cell phone numbers visitors can call to hear more information on where they are but Doolin showed that much more could be done to engage tourists and visitors.
One of the points Doolin brought out was that using certain apps, a visitor could also see what other attractions are in the area using their smart phones or tablets. The information available to the visitors would show where other nearby attractions are in relation to where they are and could even show pictures of what those attractions look like.
Doolin said that by creating an experience for tourists it is more likely that they will stay longer in the area. He also noted that excellent demographics could be gleaned form the visitors to show tourism where folks are going and what they are interested in as well as what is not drawing much interest.
Doolin also pointed out that once the information is in place, there are no further costs as there are for printed materials.
In other business, Executive Director Geoff Ladd said that his meeting with Lincoln Mayor Keith Snyder held hope that some type of an agreement between tourism and the city could be reached. However, certain ads, the annual breakfast and the hiring of an assistant are still on hold until more is known about the hotel/motel tax.
City Manager, Sue Mclaughlin attended the meeting and said what alderman Tom O'Donohue had told the board the previous week: that there was no way the city would be in position to do anything by May 1.
Ladd noted for the board that although they had voted to make O'Donohue a voting member at the last meeting, the tourism board is still under the auspices of the county and although he didn't see any problem, the county would have to vote on making O'Donohue a voting board member.
Wachtel told the board that Mark McDonald with Illinois Stories was going to be in town on Wednesday to visit the Heritage in Flight Museum at the Logan County Airport. The visit had been delayed due to health problems by HIF board member Jack Burke.