Tourism Tuesdays May 5, 2015

  • Birmingham is No. 1 on Zagat’s list of America’s Next Hot Food Cities  
  • USA TODAY features Jim ‘N Nicks and Moe’s among America’s best regional chains
  • USA TODAY 10Best Readers’ Choice
  • Eight eats in Alabama that are more than food
  • Alabama Shakes Scores Its First No. 1 Album on Billboard 200 Chart
  • April Walking Tours 2015 recap and sign-up info
  • ATD gives away tickets to Talladega Geico 500 Weekend
  • Indy races shift economy into new gear
  • Anniston, Oxford forming tourism partnership
  • Brand USA video team in Alabama
  • Below the Radar ‘days away’ from on-site brewing in downtown Huntsville
  • Hilton Home2 Suites opens in downtown Tuscaloosa
  • Alabama Makers Market looking for gift shop attendees
  • Welcome Centers gearing up for National Tourism Month
  • Search is on for Alabama Barbecue Restaurants
  • Alabama Makers
  • Mobile Apps will be featured in 2016 Alabama Vacation Guide
  • 2016 Vacation Guide & Calendar of Event deadlines
  • Alabama Tourism Department (ATD) upcoming events

________________________________________________

Birmingham is No. 1 on Zagat’s list of America’s Next Hot Food Cities    
By Bob Carlton, AL.com, April 29

The national restaurant guide Zagat.com has ranked Birmingham No. 1 on its new list of America’s Next Hot Food Cities.

“Overshadowed for years by its neighbors Nashville and Atlanta, Birmingham has now come into its own as a premier culinary destination,” Zagat editors said of the Birmingham restaurant scene.

The other cities in the Top 10 are: 2. Oakland/Berkeley, Calif.; 3. Detroit, Mich.; 4. Asheville, N.C.; 5. Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minn.; 6. Nashville, Tenn.; 7 Louisville, Ky.; 8. Durham, N.C.’ 9. Phoenix/Scottsdale, Ariz.; and 10. San Antonio, Texas.

Zagat compiled the list by surveying “a mix of industry influencers, Zagat readers and foodies across the country who were new to Zagat,” according to the website.

“The breakout market from our survey ranked as the most-improved dining scene in the country over the past five years, hit high marks for a talented roster of chefs, and is one that is expected to continue its stellar upward trajectory,” Zagat writer Chris Hassoitis said of Birmingham. “It’s safe to say that its dining and drinking culture has never been more exciting.”

Hassoitis went on to praise Birmingham chefs Frank Stitt, Chris Hastings, Stephen Fressell and Clif Holt for their ongoing efforts to promote regional dishes and local purveyors.

“Birmingham is having a moment thanks to the abundant Southern farmland and high­-profile chefs like Frank Stitt (Highlands Bar and Grill), Stephen Fressell (Chef in the Garden pop-up), Chris Hastings (Hot and Hot Fish Club) and Clifton Holt (Little Savannah),” Hassoitis wrote. “They’re drawing on regional traditions and knowledge from farther afield, but also embracing local by advocating for their purveyors on menus, at special events and on social media, among other things.”

The Zagat piece also gave high marks to the new Bottle & Bone butcher shop and deli, the global street food at Tau Poco and Birmingham’s burgeoning craft-beer scene.

To read more about what Zagat said about Birmingham, go here.

Tim and Nina Zagat started their influential Zagat Survey in 1979 as way for diners to rate restaurants across America. The ratings are compiled in Zagat guidebooks and now are available online at www.zagat.com.

To read this article online, go to: http://www.al.com/entertainment/index.ssf/2015/04/birmingham_is_no_1_on_zagats_l.html#incart_emailhttp://www.al.com/entertainment/index.ssf/2015/04/birmingham_is_no_1_on_zagats_l.html#incart_email

USA TODAY features Jim ‘N Nicks and Moe’s among America’s best regional chains

Jim ‘N Nicks Barb-B-Q and Moe’s Original Bar B Que were both featured among a list of the eleven best regional chains in the country in the USA TODAY article “Fast food worth a stop: America’s best regional chains” by Larry Olmsted.  The restaurants were chosen by Andrew Knowlton, restaurant editor for Bon Appétit magazine, and a several other regional cuisine experts.

Jim ‘N Nicks was started in Birmingham by a father-and-son team three decades ago and now has 33 locations across the county including 14 locations in Alabama. Jim ‘N Nicks was named the state’s favorite barbecue restaurant in a social media contest conducted by the Alabama Tourism Department in 2013 and is featured prominently in The Year of Alabama Barbecue.

Moe’s Original Bar B Que was launched in Vail, Colorado by three University of Alabama buddies and features an Alabama-centric menu.  Moe’s now has 37 locations across the county including 15 locations in Alabama.

Both Moe’s and Jim ‘N Nicks are featured on the Alabama BBQ Trail smart phone app available for free download at www.alabamabbq.com.
From the USA TODAY article Fast food worth a stop: America’s best regional chains by Larry Olmsted:

Jim ‘N Nick’s Bar-B-Q & Moe’s Original Bar B Que

These two consensus best barbecue chains have a lot in common – both are homespun products of Alabama with a significant presence in mountainous Colorado. Both have about 30 locations in seven and eight states respectively, clustered in the South and Rockies. Jim ‘N Nick’s was launched by a father and son team in a former dry cleaning shop in Birmingham, Ala., three decades ago. The restaurants are big, sit-down, full-service eateries, more fast casual than fast food, but many have drive-throughs as well. Quality is high, they even have their own heritage pig breeding program in development. Bon Appetit‘s Knowlton said: “The meat is good and it comes from good places because they have great sources.” The barbecue is good across the board, but what makes the chain stand out is its unique slate of Southern-flavored starters, from the signature and highly addictive cheese biscuits to Creamy Collard Green Dip with tortilla chips.

Moe’s was launched in Vail, Colo., by a trio of University of Alabama buddies turned ski bums, and their folksy growth strategy has been to help more recent alums of their alma mater open branches. The Alabama-centric menu is large and varied, including exceptional fried shrimp po’ boys, a trademark of the state’s Gulf Coast, along with decadent one-of-a-kind boneless rib sandwiches.
For the complete article, go to: http://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/destinations/2015/05/01/regional-fast-food-chains/26635435/

 

USA TODAY 10Best Readers’ Choice

Alabama is represented in four of the 10Best Readers’ Choice categories.  They are: Best Historic Southern Attraction, 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Dexter Parsonage Museum in Montgomery and the Natchez Trace Parkway, which is shared with MS and TN; Best Southern Small Town, Monroeville and Mooresville; Best Southern Fine Dining, Hot & Hot Fish Club and Highlands Bar & Grill in Birmingham and Cotton Row in Huntsville; Best Southern Event, Hangout Music Festival in Gulf Shores; Best Southern BBQ, Miss Myra’s Pit Bar-B-Q in Vestavia Hills, Big Bob Gibson of Decatur, Dreamland and Archibald & Woodrow’s in Tuscaloosa, Saw’s BBQ in Birmingham.

Voting is open and will run for four weeks only. It ends on Mon., May 25 at 10:59 a.m. The public can vote once per day, per category on the 10Best website. You can search Twitter using #10BestChoice to keep up with the live voting action. 

Editor’s update: Cotton Row restaurant in Huntsville is leading the charge in the “Best Southern Fine Dining” category and the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma is in the top three of the “Best Southern Small Towns” as of May 4.  Keep those votes coming!


 

Eight eats in Alabama that are more than food
By Kaitlin Chappell, WAFF 48, April 30

The southern states are known for their hospitality, and more importantly, their food.

In Alabama, we take it a step farther with our dining experience to go along with the good food.

1. Rattlesnake Saloon – Tuscumbia
If you want to dine in a cave, Rattlesnake Saloon in Tuscumbia is the place to be. You can get a basket of snake eyes and tails (fried sliced jalapeno peppers and fried green beans) or just a good ol’ fashion cheeseburger. Feel free to get up and dance in the cave while the band plays.

2. 360 Grille – Florence
Want to eat a gourmet meal at the top of the tower? You can at 360 Grille in Florence. A part of Marriott Shoals Hotel and Spa, the restaurant is located at the top of Renaissance Tower. You can get a view of the Shoals atop the tower. Don’t worry, you’ll get the complete view as the restaurant rotates around (hence the 360). Don’t forget to try one of their famous desserts.

3. Red Barn Restaurant – Demopolis
It used to be a barn and a John Deere office, but now, it’s a place for you to enjoy steak, chicken, seafood, and more. It’s open for dinner from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. during the week.

4. Main Street Cafe – Madison
Go to jail for a meal? Sounds crazy, right? Well, Main Street Cafe in Madison was once a jail, but now it’s a restaurant. You can eat in a jail cell without having to serve hard time. Get some country cookin’ in quaint downtown Madison.

5. Lambert’s Cafe – Foley
Headed to the beach? Stop on the way and catch a roll. Lambert’s Cafe is the “Home of Throwed Rolls” located in Foley, just before you get to the beach in Mobile. The waiters might play a few tricks on you – pretending to squirt you with ketchup and mustard or dump macaroni in your lap – but it’s all fun and games and food at Lambert’s.

6. The Freight House – Hartselle
Stop the train… and grab a bite to eat. The Freight House Restaurant in downtown Hartselle is located in a historic freight terminal. Where the trains use to run, now waiters run out modern southern food. Make sure you get a piece of the strawberry cake before your next stop.

7. The Busy Bee Cafe – Cullman
The Busy Bee Cafe has been a part of the Cullman community since 1919. It’s Cullman’s oldest and longest running restaurant. It started out as “Ford’s Cafe,” but there was a large bee hive in a tree outside the restaurant, which led them to rename it. On April 27, 2011, a tornado tore through the community and caused severe damage to many buildings including the cafe. It was reconstructed and re-opened and continues to be a landmark in Cullman. Get breakfast with all the fixings or wait for lunch or dinner to have one of their famous cheeseburgers.

8. Red’s Little School House Restaurant – Grady
School’s not in session, but lunch is. Red’s Little Schoolhouse in Grady used to be a school, but it has since been converted into a dining establishment. Don’t worry, there are no pop quizzes at this school, just really good food.

So, you don’t have to go too far to get some great food and an even better experience. There are hundreds of unique places to eat right here Alabama.

To read this article online, go to: http://www.waff.com/story/28941534/8-eats-in-alabama-that-are-more-than-food

 

Alabama Shakes Scores Its First No. 1 Album on Billboard 200 Chart
By Keith Caulfield, Billboard.com, April 29

Rock band Alabama Shakes earns its first No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart as its new album, Sound & Color, arrives in the top slot. The set, which was released April 21 on ATO Records, moved 97,000 equivalent album units in the week ending April 26, according to Nielsen Music.

The Billboard 200 chart ranks the most popular albums of the week based on multi-metric consumption, which includes traditional album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA).

The bulk of Sound & Color’s overall unit launch was powered by traditional album sales, as the set sold 91,000 copies — the band’s best sales week ever. The new album also debuts at No. 1 on the Top Album Sales chart.

The group’s first full-length album, 2012’s Boys & Girls, peaked at No. 6 on the Billboard 200 dated March 9, 2013 — nearly a year after its release. It spawned the No. 1 single “Hold On,” which topped the Adult Alternative Songs airplay chart on June 23, 2012 and later scored a Grammy Award nomination for best rock performance. Boys & Girls has sold 744,000.

The new album was led by the single “Don’t Wanna Fight,” which has spent the past six straight weeks in the No. 2 slot on the Adult Alternative chart. (It’s been stuck behind Mumford & Sons’ “Believe” for the last five frames.)

Sound & Color is the second No. 1 album for ATO Records, and first in seven years, following Radiohead’s In Rainbows. That set, released on TBD Records through ATO, topped the tally dated Jan. 19, 2008.

Sound & Color is also the first independently-distributed No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 since Jason Aldean’s Old Boots, New Dirt spent a week at the top (its debut frame) on the list dated Oct. 25, 2014.

To read this entire article online, go to: http://www.billboard.com/biz/articles/6546333/alabama-shakes-scores-its-first-no-1-album-on-billboard-200-chart

April Walking Tours 2015 recap and sign-up info

More than 1,600 people participated in the Alabama Tourism Department’s April Walking Tours this spring.  Some 27 towns across Alabama hosted the tours across the state.  Towns with the most participants included Huntsville with 240, Florence with 238, Fairhope with 170 and Mobile with 156.

The hour-long tours started at 10 a.m. each Saturday morning in April. The tours were coordinated by Brian Jones with the Alabama Tourism Department.  “Alabama is the only state in the nation to hold statewide, simultaneous walking tours.  More than 23,000 people have participated in the tours since the beginning of the program twelve years ago.  This program is all about the local tourism offices and chambers and the fact that they do a phenomenal job,” said Jones.

Towns wishing to sign up for the 2016 April Walking Tours should respond with an email giving their town’s name and starting location to brian.jones@tourism.alabama.gov.

ATD gives away tickets to Talladega Geico 500 Weekend

The Alabama Tourism Department conducted a Talladega Geico 500 Weekend Ticket Giveaway Contest on their TweetHomeAla Twitter account, April 25-26.  One hundred weekend passes were provided by Talladega Superspeedway as part of the Alabama Tourism Department’s sponsorship of the Talladega race.

Jo Jo Terry, ATD’s Digital Marketing Director coordinated the contest over the weekend.  The prize package for each Contest Winner was a package of five 3-day passes.  Eighteen winners were awarded race weekend packages.  The winners were from Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee and Texas.

The winners tweeted their satisfaction with their NASCAR experience over the Geico 500 Weekend.  A few tweets sent out:

NASCAR_Proud: @TweetHomeAla Thanks Again for the Awesome @TalladegaSuperS tickets! Made my first, but no my last trip special!

jsikes94: A huge thank you to @TweetHomeAla for a great weekend for me and my family @TalladegaSuperS Those were awesome seats!

LindaPrusak: Thank you to @TweetHomeAla for the awesome tickets. Great seats! Another track off the bucket list #DegaBaby

Iluvfastracks: @TweetHomeAla What an awesome weekend TY for the great giveaway you ROCKED it with NASCAR fans’

Many thanks go out to Talladega Superspeedway for providing the 3-day passes and for giving the NASCAR fans an awesome experience.  Jo Jo Terry said about the contest winners, “It is such a good feeling to know that people are excited about the time they have spent in Sweet Home Alabama.”


 

Indy races shift economy into new gear
By Michael Tomberlin, AlabamaPowerNews.com

Last weekend’s Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama proved again that open-wheel racing prompts visitors to open their wallets, boosting the Birmingham area economy by an estimated $33 million.

More than 75,000 fans came to Barber Motorsports Park April 24-26, a slight increase over 2014.

“We sold tickets in 48 states and five countries,” said Gene Hallman, CEO of Bruno Event Team, whose Zoom Motorsports handles marketing and management for Barber Motorsports Park. “The economic impact of the race was carefully estimated by the Greater Birmingham Convention & Visitors Bureau at $33 million. The race is used by Honda, our title sponsor, to highlight the great work that is being done by Alabamians in Lincoln.”

Honda Manufacturing of Alabama’s $2 billion auto plant in Lincoln employs more than 4,000 workers and is capable of producing 340,000 Honda Odyssey, Pilot and Ridgeline and Acura MDX vehicles and engines every year.

The Indy Grand Prix of Alabama put the state in the global spotlight among racing fans. NBC Sports gave the race national coverage, and prominent shout-outs included David Letterman, who called Barber Motorsports Park a “beautiful racetrack” when he congratulated his racing team and driver Graham Rahal for a second-place finish.

“Both on TV and in person, Barber Motorsports Park remains an immaculate facility – no stone is left unturned in ensuring its presence as one of the best circuits in North America,” DiZinno wrote on the NBC Sports Motorsports Talk blog. “In six years, IndyCar has established a foothold in what should have been an unlikely place, and while the fan numbers aren’t as huge as in Long Beach (Calif.), there’s still a distinct enough presence around the grounds to make it feel like a big deal. Chamber of Commerce weather, certainly on Sunday, also paid dividends. Barber isn’t mentioned – yet – among the best races on the calendar every year, but given the facility and level of racing we saw Sunday, it should be.”

It’s praise like that that is helping improve the Birmingham area’s image among global racing fans, according to Jim Smither, president of the Greater Birmingham Convention & Visitors Bureau.

“As the only Indy race in the Deep South, the Grand Prix of Alabama is one of our stellar sporting events,” Smither said. “The publicity is significant – the race is televised internationally in more than 100 countries.”

“It’s a positive for our image,” Davis said. “If you look at this place, this is the Augusta National of racing venues, and the drivers and the spectators love it. In addition to the race, Barber Motorsports Park is home to the North American Porsche Driving School, and Mercedes-Benz USA is running on the Barber Proving Grounds.”

To read this article online, go to: http://alabamapowernews.com/2015/04/30/indy-races-shift-economy-into-new-gear/

Anniston, Oxford forming tourism partnership
By William Thornton, AL.com, May 1

Anniston and Oxford city leaders say they are excited about the prospects of a partnership to promote tourism in the two cities.

“We want to make this a destination,” said Oxford City Councilwoman Charlotte Hubbard. “We want to create a brand that’s instantly recognizable.”

Anniston Mayor Vaughn Stewart said talks about a partnership have been ongoing for some time. The idea is modeled on a similar pact between the cities of Auburn and Opelika.

The two cities are proposing a 3 percent increase in lodging tax, which would bring the rate up to 14 percent, Stewart said. A bill setting up the tax increase is expected to be introduced this month in the Legislature.

The money would fund a tourism authority with a five member board and executive director. Anniston would appoint two members, and Oxford three. There would also be three ex officio members, appointed by the Calhoun County Commission, Chamber of Commerce and one to represent the hotel industry, Stewart said.

The authority would work to spotlight the two cities through promotion, materials and other action. That means biking opportunities at Coldwater Mountain, or shopping and youth sports activities in Oxford, or other attractions.

“It was a natural move,” Stewart said. “Oxford is the gateway to the Interstate, and Anniston has the Amtrak hub. We’ve had a good relationship with the Oxford Council, so it was not a difficult sell.”

To read this article online, go to: http://www.al.com/news/anniston-gadsden/index.ssf/2015/05/anniston_oxford_forming_touris.html

Brand USA video team in Alabama  

A video team will be in five Alabama cities this week as part of the Alabama Tourism Departments efforts to have content aimed at international audiences.  The team from Miles Partnership will be producing in-language videos, travel articles and photographs in both Portuguese and Spanish for Brand USA’s DiscoverAmerica.com website.
There will be three videos produced in each language for a total of 6 videos.

The videos will highlight three sections of the state; North, Central and South.

The crew will be in Gulf Shores/Orange Beach on Tues., May 5, Mobile and Montgomery on Wed., May 6, Huntsville on Thur., May 7 and Birmingham on Fri., May 8.

The videos will be posted on DiscoverAmerica.com, the official tourism website for travel to the USA.  Plans are to have the videos also posted on webpages on the Travel South USA website.

These 6 videos will join the 9 videos that have already been produced; 3 each for the UK/Australian, French and German visitors.

Production costs dictated the limited number of cities to be visited by the team. The Portuguese and Spanish talent will mention as many other Alabama cities as possible given the approximate 2 minute length of each video.

For more information, contact Grey.Brennan@tourism.alabama.gov

 

Below the Radar ‘days away’ from on-site brewing in downtown Huntsville
By Lucy Berry, Al.com, May 1

Below the Radar’s new brewing operation has been a long time coming.

Founder and brewmaster Steve Below had hoped to open the brewery portion of the business when Below the Radar debuted at the historic Times building in August 2012.

The beer aficionado said the process of launching a brewery, restaurant and bar at the same time became too much to handle.

“It just got too hard to do in conjunction with getting the kitchen up and going and starting the restaurant,” he said.
“We put the brewery on hold and opened up the restaurant and bar area, then we came back and started working on this.”

After nearly three years in the city center, Below the Radar is gearing up to make beer on-site for the first time in downtown Huntsville.

Below, who contract brewed with Yellowhammer for a while, said the brewpub’s well-known Firefox Pale Ale and Cryptic Imperial Pale Ale should be on tap by mid-May.

In addition to on-site brewing, the eatery will soon offer outdoor seating near the front entrance facing Holmes Avenue.

“We’re titled, ‘Huntsville’s first brewpub,’ so, for me, to actually be a true brewpub, it’s just big for us,” said Below the Radar general manager Jason Allison. “It makes us the first and only. We’re just very excited about it.”

The operation, which represents a $300,000 investment, includes two fermenters and four conditioning tanks. Although they’ll initially start with two beers, Below said he has up to 14 recipes registered with the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, the governing body that enforces laws regulating alcohol production, importation and wholesale businesses.

“I’ve got a Jim Beam barrel that the Jim Beam rep gave me,” he said. “We’re going to age one of our stouts in it and do some different stuff with that.”

Below expects the beers will be available at growler-filling stations at Old Town Beer Exchange (opening soon in downtown Huntsville), Wish You Were Beer on U.S. 72, Liquor Express on University Drive and Wine Rack on South Parkway.

“We anticipate that once we put our beer on tap, it’s going to go so quickly we really won’t have that much to put into kegs to give to our distributor,” he said. “Ultimately, we’ll get back to that level or we’ll contract brew with one of the breweries in town, which we have done in the past.”

Below the Radar event coordinator and assistant manager Alaina Wilson expects to host a grand opening celebration for the brewing operation in the coming weeks.

Below the Radar is owned by Below, Dan Bodeker and Don Miller. For updates about the brewing process, visit Below the Radar’s Facebook page.

To read this entire article online, go to: http://www.al.com/business/index.ssf/2015/05/below_the_radar_days_away_from.html#incart_email


Hilton Home2 Suites opens in downtown Tuscaloosa
By Ryan Phillips, Birmingham Business Journal, April 30

A new mid-tier, all-suite hotel has opened in downtown Tuscaloosa
Home2 Suites by Hilton on Wednesday announced the opening of its newest location at 2610 University Blvd., according to a release from Hilton.

The $13 million project adds 113 suites to Tuscaloosa’s hotel offerings and is less than two miles from the University of Alabama campus and Bryant-Denny Stadium.

This comes in addition to the city attracting a $31 million Embassy Suites that opened in March.

The two hotels are intended to remedy the city’s past problem of retaining visitors who otherwise would stay in Birmingham or the surrounding suburbs.

The new Home2 Suites is also near local restaurants, shops and the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater.

The new hotel offers access to technology and community spaces, along with Home2 Suites amenities like the Oasis lobby, the Home2 MKT for grab-and-go items, the Spin2 Cycle, a combined laundry and fitness area.  All Home2 Suites are pet-friendly.

To read this article online, go to: http://www.bizjournals.com/birmingham/morning_call/2015/04/hilton-home2-suites-opens-in-downtown-tuscaloosa.html?ed=2015-04-30&s=newsletter&ana=e_birm_rdup

Alabama Makers Market looking for gift shop attendees

The Alabama Tourism Department will host the first Alabama Makers Market Thur., June 4, at the RSA Activity Center in Montgomery.  The market will showcase the talented artists and crafters of Alabama for the gift shop owners and managers in Alabama.

This is an excellent opportunity for those who own or manage a gift shop to see many of the amazing things that are crafted right here in Alabama.  Registration is requested, but not required.

Hours of the market are 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.  The RSA Activity Center is located at 201 Dexter Avenue, Montgomery, AL  36104.

To register, contact Leigh Cross: leigh.cross@tourism.alabama.gov OR by phone, 334-242-4416.

Welcome Centers gearing up for National Tourism Month

The Eight Welcome Centers around Alabama are finalizing plans for an annual favorite – Tourism Day.  Each center celebrates National Tourism Month in May each year with a day full of special activities. The Centers have delicious food, refreshing drinks and local tourism partners on site to greet travelers to celebrate the official start of the summer travel season.  A list of the 2015 dates for each Center can be found at http://tourism.alabama.gov/industry-calendar/.

May 6, Sumter Welcome Center, May 7, Cleburne Welcome Center; May 7, Grand Bay Welcome Center; May 14, Lanett Welcome Center; May 14, Baldwin Welcome Center; May 14, DeKalb Welcome Center; May 15, Houston Welcome Center; May 28, Ardmore Welcome Center

Search is on for Alabama Barbecue Restaurants

The Alabama Tourism Department is conducting a search for barbecue restaurants around the state that might not have made it into the Alabama Barbecue book.  If you are or know of any barbecue restaurants in your area, please go to http://partners.alabama.travel/ to sign in and join Alabama Tourism’s Year of Alabama Barbecue.

Alabama Makers

Alabama is home to a vast number of talented and creative people who produce a wide variety of items including, but not limited to, woodwork, paintings, ceramics, fabrics and a lot of food.

The Alabama Tourism Department is looking for information about all these people and their products.  We want the home-grown cottage industries as opposed to industrial giants.

Please send information about people and their products, including contact information, to Peggy Collins, peggy.collins@tourism.alabama.gov or call 334-242-4545.

Mobile Apps will be featured in 2016 Alabama Vacation Guide

We need your help.  We are compiling a list of mobile apps offered by our Alabama Tourism Industry Partners.  A section in the 2016 Alabama Vacation Guide will be dedicated to mobile apps promoting the Alabama Tourism Industry.

If your organization has developed mobile apps to promote your area/attraction/business/event, please send a description and link to Jo Jo Terry, jojo.terry@tourism.alabama.gov.  Please send information regarding mobile apps that are even in the development stage.   The deadline is May 29.

If you have any questions, please contact Jo Jo Terry by email or phone, 334-353-4716 direct line.

2016 Vacation Guide & Calendar of Event deadlines

It’s time to get information submitted in order to have your attractions and events listed in the printed version of the Alabama Vacation Guide & Calendar of Events.  They must be entered into the website by June 30, for the Calendar of Events, and July 10, for the Vacation Guide.

The web address is: http://partners.alabama.travel/users/signin.

If you have any questions, call Pam Smith at 334-353-4541.

Alabama Tourism Department (ATD) upcoming events

May 29                        Deadline to get images to ATD
May 29                        Deadline to turn in mobile app information to ATD
June 4                          Alabama Makers Market, RSA Activity Center, Montgomery

Tourism Day Celebrations at Welcome Centers

Celebration time at all Welcome Centers is: 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

May 6                          Sumter Welcome Center, Tourism Day Celebration
I-20/59 East of MS Line
May 7                          Cleburne Welcome Center, Tourism Day Celebration
I-20 West of GA Line
May 14                        Lanett Welcome Center Tourism Day Celebration
I-85 West of Georgia Line
May 15                        Houston Welcome Center Tourism Day Celebration
U.S. 231 North of FL Line
May 14                        Baldwin Welcome Center Tourism Day Celebration
I-10 West of FL Line
May 7                          Grand Bay Welcome Center Tourism Day Celebration
I-10 East of MS Line
May 14                        DeKalb Welcome Center Tourism Day Celebration
I-59 West of GA Line
May 28                        Ardmore Welcome Center Tourism Celebration
I-65 South of TN Line

________________________________________________

Tourism Tuesdays is a free electronic newsletter produced by the Alabama Tourism Department. It contains news about the state tourism department and the Alabama tourism industry.

The newsletter can also be accessed online by going to: www.tourism.alabama.gov

To subscribe to the weekly Alabama Tourism News, please contact Peggy Collins at: peggy.collins@tourism.alabama.gov

Alabama Tourism Department
www.alabama.travel