During their regular monthly meeting, the McCreary County Heritage Foundation received input from Big South Fork Scenic Railway (BSFSRY) Director Mike Gresham concerning last weekend’s opening of the 2017 tourist season. Gresham reported more than 200 passengers boarded the train on Saturday. Operating with only two passenger cars until the remaining five cars are refurbished, Gresham stressed the importance of making reservations for those wishing to ride the train. Gresham reported a successful opening day with lots of positive comments by passengers.
Acting on Gresham’s recommendation, members of the Foundation agreed to explore options for rebuilding the BSFSRY website in order to promote growth in ticket sales and online presence. Gresham feels a cheaper reservation system can be developed.
Paula Stephens and Stacy Tucker spoke on behalf of the upcoming Moonshiners’ Run Car Show planned for Stearns in July. Traffic plans include parking in the OVC parking lot on Shirt Factory Road and shuttling spectators to a drop off point in Stearns. Stephens and Director Gresham are working together to ensure tourists have access to the train during the car show event. The Moonshiners’ Run is an annual event hosted free of charge to encourage local residents and tourists to spend money at businesses and tourist attractions in McCreary County. Trophies and other items for the event are made and/or purchased locally.
Members of the Foundation also heard from Barbara Edwards, proprietor of Sweet Kreations- a popular, local gift shop. Edwards announced her plans to continue the giftshop/fudgery in the Depot building.
In other business, members voted to purchase signs advertising the Whistle Stop and Clubhouse Restaurants. The Foundation also voted to install internet and telephone service at the Coal Bucket concession stand at Blue Heron.
Members accepted the resignation of Becki Egnew from the Foundation. Egnew served twenty years in some capacity with the Heritage Foundation and BSFSRY. In accepting her resignation, the Foundation provided personnel updates including the following directorships dealing with day to day operations: BSFSRY-Mike Gresham, Food Service-Greg Collins, Museum/Building & Facilities-Shane Gilreath, and Golf Course-Alex Egnew & Advisory Committee.
The Foundation also appointed a financial/business/marketing committee.
Following their regular meeting, the Foundation entered their annual meeting and elected the following officers: Chairperson J. C. Egnew, Vice Chairperson Ray Moncrief, and Secretary/Treasurer Gordon Kidd.