Wednesday, June 26, 2013
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Tourism bureau directors Churchill, Lee and Post step aside as work begins to meet Lincoln's expectations

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[June 26, 2013]  The Abraham Lincoln Tourism Bureau of Logan County "is pleased to report that the city of Lincoln is now the financial governing body over the bureau," said Stacie Wachtel, who chairs the tourism board. "The ALTBLC will continue to function, and the board is working toward fulfilling the expectations provided to us by the city of Lincoln in May."

Under the governance of the city of Lincoln, hotel tax dollar revenue formerly appropriated for the tourism bureau through Logan County will now be appropriated through the city.

Alderman Tom O'Donohue is the city liaison to the tourism bureau.

For the past 26 years, the tourism bureau has been providing the leadership for Logan County to become a premier destination for quality, high-standard tourist activities and facilities. The mission of the bureau is to provide services, support and professional leadership to businesses and not-for-profit organizations to increase the economic and social benefit of tourism in Logan County.

"Between 2005-2012 our leadership has led to a 32 percent increase in revenues from the hotel tax in Logan County," Wachtel said. "We look for that to increase and continue to grow as the city of Lincoln becomes more involved in the management of the bureau. Work has begun already to meet Lincoln's expectations for the bureau and our board."

The tourism board took immediate steps at their meeting Tuesday to meet the first two expectations provided by the city of Lincoln.

The first expectation requires the chief elected official of the entity imposing the tax -- the mayor of Lincoln -- to appoint the members of the tourism board, with those appointments confirmed by the Lincoln City Council.

The second expectation requires the tourism board to be reduced to no more than 11 individuals, which would include an appropriate number of representatives of the city of Lincoln and at least two members representing the hotel industry. Currently the board has only O'Donohue representing the city and no board members from the hotel industry.

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"We have several members of our current tourism board who feel very strongly that meeting the city's expectations and continuing the good work of the bureau is so important that they have volunteered to step down from their current positions," Wachtel said. "This will enable the city to begin building the board to meet their specifications and allow us to meet their first two expectations. We will certainly miss tourism board members Stu Churchill, Peggy Lee and Bill Post. Each is a loyal and enthusiastic member of the current tourism board. They have provided the kind of support and guidance that has enhanced the success of tourism in Logan County."

Wachtel herself will also be leaving her position as chair to help the board meet the city's expectations.

The tourism bureau is currently conducting a search for an executive director.

"The position and the opportunities presented with the city now as the governing financial body increase the possibilities and prospects for this position," Wachtel said.

Interviews of qualified candidates are scheduled to begin in late June through July.

[Text from file received from Abraham Lincoln Tourism Bureau of Logan County]

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