February 2019 Meeting Minutes

The BGALA February meeting was hosted by the Historic RailPark & Train Museum on Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Members were asked to walk thru the train cars before the meeting began.

Treasurer report, Ashlyn Smith:
-January expenditures: Quickbooks fee and BGALA board meeting lunch totaled just under $100.

-All member dues should be paid by April. BGALA account balance is just over $7,200.

ATTRACTION REPORTS:

CVB: Sherry Murphy invited hotels to offer site tours so she can get to know the properties and hoteliers better. Janet Henderson is working on car season events and doing a few things differently this year–and plans to meet with some hotels about it. Janet is meeting with lots of event promoters. Marissa Butler is updating the hotel contacts in the CVB database and asked hotels to check the lodging panel on the Visitors Guide chart during the meeting to note any changes for the new guide. Marissa reminded hotels that Beth Noffsinger is offering VETTE hospitality training classes to frontline staff and that a few hotels have already taken advantage of the opportunity. Amy Cardwell reported BG has won the bid for the KHSAA Archery competition, more to come on that. Mid-South Conference is working with BG City Schools to host its basketball championships in Spring 2020, and other Mid-South sports like cheerleading, women’s wrestling, and lacrosse have been added this year. Amy asked for volunteers to tap at the wrestling championships this weekend. The new gym facilities at the county parks have been reserved for new events.

Sloan Convention Center: No report.

Lost River Cave: Megan Williams, Event Coordinator, mentioned registration being open for Spring Break Camps and Junior Naturalist Program. Earth Week is coming up in April and LRC is seeking volunteers for activities to clean the park. LRC is hiring for summer tour guides for both the cave and zipline. The zipline is reopening for the season in March. LRC is hosting BGALA in March and 10 zipline slots will be available to members for after the meeting, first come, first serve.

National Corvette Museum and MSP: Katie Ellison reported the new NASA exhibit is opening Friday. Today is the 5-year anniversary of the sinkhole! The Kartplex opens for the season on March 2. The NCM was awarded CVB Special Tourism Project Funds to bring electricity to the West Track for a Christmas lights display. Twinkle at the Track will be open starting Thanksgiving weekend and hotels are encouraged to include tickets in holiday packages. Visit www.twinkleatthetrack.com for pricing info and follow the page on Facebook.

Rock’n B Horse & Carriage Farm: Robin Harden reported this KY Proud attraction is joining BGALA. The Rockfield attraction gives carriage rides, hosts seasonal events, and runs the Mammaw’s Kitchen restaurant. They have been giving carriage rides in downtown Bowling Green for years and are planning to start a downtown carriage historic tour in May on Friday nights. They have seven carriages of many sizes that can carry up to 20 people at once and can take optional routes. Contact them for information about group rides.

Historic RailPark & Train Museum: Jamie Johnson was the featured speaker and host of the month’s meeting. She gave a recap of the history of the L&N Depot and train museum, explaining the uncertain future of the museum given that ownership of the $3.8 million Depot building be transferred to the non-profit museum. She explained the yearlong Save the Depot campaign aimed at fundraising and marketing the museum’s offerings through the nostalgia of WWII propaganda posters, inspired by the potential new Railroads Go To War exhibit modeled by WKU students. Jamie invited hotels to give input on ways to improve reaching tourists and visitors coming into their properties. Hotels were asked to complete a survey on the tables asking if the RailPark could use any marketing tools on property based on brand and company standards, and RailPark staff plan to provide free tour admission passes to frontline staff at hotels so they can accurately share the experience with guests. Jamie shared information about RailPark upcoming events like Sip & Putt Scramble, Brunch with the Bunny, Unseen BG Downtown Haunted Tours, Haunted Lantern Tours, and Polar Express. Jamie handed out information about business memberships and mentioned RailPark staff are working on specific hotel partner perks like sharing info with rental clients. Jamie invited members to attend the next Save the Depot collectible poster reveal, March 7 at 10am in the Depot lobby. The collectible posters are for sale int he gift shop and online for $24.95. Jamie encouraged members to Like the RailPark and share events and posts, and continue supporting its efforts to keep the doors open.

NEW BUSINESS:

The BGALA Spring 2019 scholarship is available to students enrolled in the WKU Hospitality Program. Applications for the $500 scholarship are due February 28. Only one application has been received as of meeting time. The application can be found here.

Drue Eberhardt and Morgan Staley resigned their BGALA board positions due to job changes. The BGALA board appointed Kacie Hood the new president-elect and recommended Byron Palmiter (Hilton Garden Inn) and Angela Turner (Candlewood Suites) for At-Large member positions. No other nominations were brought to the floor.

The next meeting will be held Tuesday, March 12, at Lost River Cave at 12pm. The tentative featured speaker is Lynne Garrison, Expedia’s Area Market Manager.

About the Author: Telia Butler