Tourism update: UOC, marketing, new director, money to Railsplitting
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[August 21, 2014]
LINCOLN - On Thursday evening, the
board of the Logan County Tourism Bureau met for what will be their
only meeting this month. Five members of the board were present with
Darlene Begolka and Andy Anderson being absent for the evening.
New Executive Director on the way
The bureau had hired a new permanent, full-time executive director.
Andi Hake said the person will be starting the first of September.
She also advised that she will be sending out a press release
introducing the new director in the near future.
Tom O’Donohue offered an update on the Unified Organizations
Committee saying that the votes for a new board of directors has
been established. In all, there will be 48 voters who will decide on
the seven member board of directors for the new unified
O’Donohue said when the calculations were all completed 16 votes
were delegated to communities outside of the city of Lincoln and
included one vote given to the Logan County board. The Lincoln/Logan
County Chamber of Commerce received 15 votes and the Tourism Bureau
will have nine votes. The city of Lincoln received five votes and
Main Street Lincoln was delegated three votes
Each voting entity will have until September 15 to select the
person(s) who will represent them in the board selection process.
O’Donohue asked if the board could form their list. Those who
committed to voting were Jean Bruner-Jachino, Kristi Powell, Andy
Meister and Tom O’Donohue. With Anderson and Begolka absent for the
evening, the board put their names on the list pending their
consent. O’Donohue said that left possibly three voting spaces for
tourism. He said those appointments would be made between now and
Andi Hake also indicated there would be a press release coming out
soon with an update on the UOC. (Note: The press release
mentioned is in today’s edition of Lincoln Daily News.)
Jachino gave an update of the work in process by DCC Marketing, the
firm hired to assist the bureau in the re-branding process. To date,
a new logo has been selected.
Jachino offered up four samples of the official bureau stationary
template, and the board made their selection.
She reported the new website for the bureau is under construction.
The marketing firm has established a URL or browser address, and
have created a site map. They are now ready to start loading
information and photos onto the new site.
Jachino said the firm had requested one person to work with from the
bureau in collecting photos and information. Hake said there was a
part-time person who could get that started, but with a new
executive director starting in September, that person would probably
become the contact.
Bureau awards advertising funds for Railsplitting event
The group voted unanimously to award the Logan County Railsplitting
Association $755 for advertising their annual Railsplitter Festival
outside the Logan County area.
This will be the 44th year for the National Railsplitter in Lincoln.
The dates for the event will be September 19, 20 and 21.
Bob Rankin of the association was on hand to discuss the request. He
said the association is looking to finance advertising in the Peoria
area and beyond, and will use the money for that purpose.
The Railsplitter is held the same weekend as the Route 66 Futbol
Rankin was asked if his group cross promotes with the Futbol Club,
and he said they did. He also noted that at the last event, held in
2012, there had been soccer attendees who also visited the festival.
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O’Donohue mentioned that the bureau prepares information bags
for the Futbol, and would be happy to include a flyer about the
festival. Rankin accepted that offer and said he would get
materials to the bureau.
After Rankin had left, the group discussed the request before
calling for a vote. Jachino noted that the festival does bring
some overnight stays to the two motels in town she represents.
The group concurred the request had been made for the
appropriate reason according to new criteria set by the board.
Therefore, when the vote was conducted, all members voted to
support the festival with a $755 donation.
“No” to Grand Soiree
The board also considered a cash request from Lincoln College
for the annual Grand Soiree held during the Alumni Homecoming
weekend. The soiree was considered to be more part of a reunion
than a tourist event, and the board decided not to grant the
request. Hake mentioned that the bureau has in the past shown
their support of the college through the purchase of tickets for
this event. The group considered that would be sufficient again
this year. The money raised from the sale of tickets goes to
support of the Lincoln Heritage Museum.
Bureau will conduct business surveys after major events
During regular discussion, Hake said she had recently paid a
visit to Paresh Patel, owner of the Lincoln Best Western. During
their conversations, Patel had mentioned that other towns survey
their hotels and motels after large events. She said the gist of
the survey was to allow the businesses to report what the event
had been like for them as far as stays. She said it was a “How
did it go?” type questionnaire.
Jachino was asked if she had seen these surveys in other Hampton
motels she works with, and she said she had. She was then asked
if she could get a copy of a survey for the tourism bureau board
to look at, and she said she would.
There was also a question as to whether the local survey should
be designed to include restaurant owners as well. Most seemed to
think that would be a good idea.
In other news
Hake reported the bureau now has the video footage taken by
Michael Gowin of the “Mini Abe” visit earlier this spring. There
is a good possibility the video(s) will be incorporated into the
Hake reported the 2014 state grant final report has been
completed and delivered to Springfield. The due date for the
grant was the end of August, so she was pleased that it was
She is also working on the 2015 grant, and said there would be
more discussion on that at a future meeting.
Comparing schedules for the next three to four weeks, it was
decided the bureau will not have a board meeting on September
11th. The next scheduled meeting will be Tuesday, September 23.
At the end of the evening, an executive session was called, and
the public was asked to exit the meeting with no expectation of
any business being conducted after the closed session.
[By NILA SMITH]