The BGALA July meeting was hosted by Beech Bend Park on July 14, 2020. This is the first BGALA in-person membership meeting since the Covid-19 outbreak in March.
Treasurer report from Alisha Dalrymple: BGALA current account balance is over $15,000. BGALA refunded all dues this year.
CVB: Beth Noffsinger reported. The CVB office is still closed to all in-person foot traffic. Marissa, Sherry, and Beth are working weekdays full time at the office and can offer curbside service. Amy and Janet are working part-time hours. The CVB is operating on reserves from its budget due to all the event cancelations and closures this year. Amy is in contact with KHSAA and sports events trying to keep up with the new policies. Mid-South sports are set to resume in fall, plus there may be a September disc golf event and Kick or Treat soccer in October. The BG Hot Rods are hosting a local high school Senior Showcase on July 25. The CVB did a small reprint of the 2019-2020 Visitors Guide and has them available. Dining guides are still available. The CVB launched a new monthly e-newsletter.
Sloan Convention Center: No report. The convention center has been closed to events since March.
Lost River Cave: Maegan Williams reported. Boat tours are open and operating at 85% capacity. The zipline will not be open this year for safety. The butterfly habitat will also not be open this year because of budget cuts. Weddings are still booked with up to 150 attendees allowed. The wedding weekends are all booked through fall. The Scarecrow Trail will still be happening in October because you can social distance on the trails. Last year the trails had at least 20,000 people in foot traffic that month.
National Corvette Museum: Katie Ellison reported. Reservations are not required for tickets. The Rat Fink East Coast Reunion is scheduled for August 20-22 weekend, is a free event with 35-40 vendors and outdoor activities. The NCM Anniversary Celebration is September 2-5–Wednesday and Saturday are road tour days with Thursday and Friday being NCM events onsite. The museum is opening virtual event registration for that too based on the success of Bash going virtual in May. There are over 150 registrants in-person for anniversary to date. Wendell is being inducted into the Corvette Hall of Fame this year. There are two new galleries at the museum–one in the performance hall and one on mid-engines. The sinkhole animation sequence is new. The museum is planning more digital marketing campaigns simply sharing it’s open because they are inundated with phone calls asking about their schedule and admission details since travelers are wary and wondering what’s open. There are 800 more C8 deliveries scheduled for this year, and 2020 Corvette production at the GM Plant has been extended through November. There is still no set time to resume Plant tours. Motorcoaches are starting to travel again and Debbie is getting requests for group tours. The museum is seeing about 60% of its usual attendance figures compared to this time of year in a normal setting.
NCM Motorsports Park: Taylor Howard reported. The park reopened in June. Kartplex is still closed. The team is booking private rentals. Touring laps and the Corvette experience are available. The new crawl course is near completion and in the inspection phase. Taylor still plans to attend a promotional event in August in Pigeon Forge, possibly with Janet from the CVB, to promote the new offroading course. Twinkle at the Track planning is underway, expect to hear from the team about hotel partnerships this year. The park is adding a Christmas village and hopefully partnering with the RailPark to include offers. There will be a Christmas in July special running July 27-31 with discounted tickets for November 27 thru January 1.
Historic RailPark: Jamie Johnson reported. The RailPark received grant money to fund more of its Railroads Go To War exhibit that should be completed by September. The team has been working on railcar restoration projects. The Depot is open for train tours Thursday thru Sunday from 10am to 4pm and encouraging masks. Individual train tours are offered. Most of the volunteer staff running the tours are in the high risk category and the tour hours reflect the cuts. Rentals for private events and weddings are still booked. The wedding calendar is full for the rest of the season. Haunted Lantern Tours are being planned, along with the Unseen BG, Pauline Tabor, and a new cemetery tour downtown. Polar Express is also being planned and would look much different and scaled back.
Beech Bend Park: Charlotte Gonzalez reported. The park sold more season passes than ever before the pandemic hit. Reservations are no longer required. Brochures are available for pick up. The park plans to stay open through September. Use the promo code FUN on the park website to buy a ticket for $29.99. The park reduced their prices to match Kentucky Kingdom’s pricing. The Governor’s office did not give the park direction for capacity and guidelines for re-opening, so the park is doing its best to keep guests safe. The capacity has been reduced greatly, seating and dining options have been reduced, social distancing directives are in place, temperature checks at the park’s entrance are being held, employees are wearing masks, and there is hand sanitizer throughout the park.
Bowling Green Hot Rods Baseball: No report.
BGALA will continue accepting applications for its special tourism projects fund from the member attractions and non-profits. Kacie reported that it is the goal of these funds to possibly aid in small projects that would bring more overnight visitors to the area. Please see Kacie for an application. There is no deadline.
Jane Simmons at WKU has officially retired and will be speaking to the dean about filling the education ambassador BGALA board seat.
BGALA plans to offer its $500 Fall scholarship. Please share with any staff who are students.
The next meeting will be held Tuesday, August 11, at Hyatt Place.