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Tourism Meets for Routine Business

Groups or individuals asking the McCreary County Tourism Commission to make financial contributions for organized events are now required to complete donation request forms along with providing IRS designation, verification of liability insurance, and proof of any permits required for hosting events.  In addition, an estimate of the number of event attendees expected to stay in McCreary County hotels, campgrounds, and other lodgings is required.

The new procedure ensures all events receiving donations from the Tourism Commission are covered by liability insurance thus reducing the likelihood of the Commission being held liable during events not directly organized or hosted by them.  Since the transient tax charged by local hotels and other lodging facilities is spent directly by the Tourism Commission, the number of attendees expected to stay in local lodging facilities will be used as a factor in determining whether or not the Commission will donate to an event.  The Commission also receives some funding through Fiscal Court for salary and tourism related projects.

Currently, the Big South Fork Veterans’ Hunt and Moonshiners’ Run Car Show have pending requests for donations from the Tourism Commission.

Requests for donations must be approved thirty days in advance of the event during a Tourism Commission meeting.

In other business, members of the Commission discussed the upcoming Yamacraw Run scheduled for April 8.  Tourism administrative assistant Cristy Hill noted the generous amount of “swag bag” items received from local businesses and organizations.  All Yamacraw runners will receive a swag bag filled with McCreary County information and related items.

The Commission tabled action on updating the current McCreary County Tourism website in order to give more time to research available grants for funding of the project.  The Commission also voted to use up to $100 per month to promote local lodgings on the Tourism Facebook page.  The Commission is hopeful the promotions will draw more overnight tourists to the County resulting in more transient tax dollars.
Guests who addressed the Tourism Commission included Paula Stephens and Greg Collins.  Stephens addressed the Tourism Commission asking for a donation for the annual Moonshiners’ Run Car Show.  She announced the popular annual event will move to Downtown Stearns this year and will be held on July 7th and 8th.  This year, the event will sponsor a Rock-a-Billy Ball on Friday night in the Heritage Hall with a Show-n-Shine car show on Saturday.
Collins updated the Commission on the current status of the Big South Fork Scenic Railway and Historic Downtown Stearns.  He stated the new railway manager, Michael Gresham, will open the railway season for the McCreary County Heritage Foundation to the general public on April 8.  A community ride is planned prior to the general opening.  Collins also expressed his concern in regard to outdated tourism flyers and brochures being distributed to the public.

The McCreary County Tourism Commission meets regularly on the third Thursday of each month at 5:00 p.m. at the Tourism Office in Whitley City.

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