ALABAMA TOURISM DEPARTMENT NEWSLETTER MAY 22, 2013

• BBQ sauce championship generates wide press coverage
• Time to sign up for Alabama Restaurant Week
• Sign-Up period for April Walking Tours 2014 begins
• Alabama’s tourism up 5 percent, state welcome center manager says
• Marilyn Stamps to be honored after 27 years in tourism
• Sixty-day window to nominate tourism points of interest for National Geographic project
• Visiting Places of Baseball History Related to Jackie Robinson
• Event featuring Homer Hickam and writing contest winner raises awareness for Alabama’s Lookout Mountain region
• Founder’s park amphitheater groundbreaking and recognition of Daikin, America Inc.
• Space & Rocket Center site for rollout of only U.S. car to race in international Greenpower race
• Alabama Chanin’s studio featured in Garden & Gun
• Alabama History & Heritage webpages show dramatic increase
• Revived and relocated Globe restaurant sees sales steady
• Prop & Gavel opens on Monroeville’s historic downtown square
• Walk Monroeville
• Appalachian Regional Commission to produce local food mapguide with American Heritage Publishing
• Pike County state public fishing lake temporarily closed for renovation
• Free fishing day to help increase number of anglers in Alabama
• The Eufaula/Barbour County Chamber of Commerce
• Marshall County CVB seeks new president
• Tourism Day Celebrations at Welcome Centers
• Alabama Governor’s Conference on Tourism 2013
• Alabama Tourism Department (ATD) upcoming events
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BBQ sauce championship generates wide press coverage
Celebrity judges picked the sauce from Phil’s barbecue restaurant in Eufaula as the state “BBQ Sauce-Off Champion” during a tasting Saturday at Pepper Place Market in Birmingham. The regional competitions leading up to the championship generated more than 50 newspaper articles and was covered by television stations across the state.

“The Alabama Tourism Department designed the BBQ Sauce-Off as a way of promoting the state’s barbecue restaurants and independent sauce producers,” said contest coordinator Brian Jones. “The regional contests got great coverage and our championship in Birmingham was covered by channel 48 in Huntsville, channel 6 in Birmingham, channel 12 in Montgomery and AL.com. It was also featured in USA TODAY, on public radio and was picked up by the Associated Press,” he said.

LawLers from Athens was chosen as the North Alabama regional winner by judges Bobby Shuttleworth of WAFF-48, Evan Carden of Decatur Life magazine and Melinda Dunn of the Decatur/Morgan Convention and Visitors Bureau. The Decatur/Morgan County Farmer’s Market was the host site for the regional contest.

The Central Alabama regional winner was Costas from Birmingham. The regional competition was held at the Tuscaloosa River Market and judged by Terri Brewer of WBRC-6, Rob Moore of WMFT-88.9 FM, Buttermilk Lipstick editor Rebecca Gordon and John Poole of Hudson-Poole Jewelers.

Phil’s BBQ from Eufaula was chosen as the Southern Alabama regional winner by judges Melissa McKinney of WSFA-12, Heather VacLav of WAKA-8, Allison Griffin of the Montgomery Advertiser, Hunter Lewis of Southern Living and Chris Blankenship of the Alabama Seafood Marketing Commission. The competition was held at the Southern Makers festival in Montgomery.

Three judges chose Viper sauce from Fairhope as the Gulf Coast regional winner during Market on the Square in Mobile. The judges were David Holloway of the Press-Register, Christian Jennings of WPMI-15 and Harriet Shade of SPIRE advertising agency.

Judges of the championship held at Birmingham’s Pepper Place Saturday Market included Vanessa Rocchio of Southern Living magazine, Clare Huddleston of WBRC-Fox 6 and Cindy Martin, president of the Alabama Media Group.

The BBQ Sauce-Off was a follow up to the popular BBQ Bracket contest on Facebook that state tourism conducted in March. “We had more than 81,000 votes cast on our Alabama Food Facebook page during the bracket. In the BBQ Sauce-Off we used panels of celebrity judges in blind taste testing competitions,” Jones said.

Thirty-four sauces were gathered from restaurants and grocery stores across the state for the BBQ Sauce-Off. Sauces in the contest included: Bailey’s, Baumhower’s, Berdeaux’s, BBQ Shack, Big Bob Gibson, Bishop’s, Bob Sykes, Bryant, Carlile’s, Costas, Crusty Butts & Bones, Dale’s BBQ, Demetri’s, Dreamland, Fat Boy’s, Full Moon, Golden Rule, Jim ‘N Nick’s, Johnny’s BBQ, LawLers, Mike & Ed’s, Mike Elliott’s, Moon Hollow, Noodie’s, Ollie’s, Perfect Bite BBQ, Phil’s, Rob’s, Saban Sauce, Saw’s, Saucy Q, Slaphappy BBQ, Thomas Rib Shack and Viper.
Learn more about Alabama food products, chefs, culinary destinations and events at Facebook.com/AlabamaFood and at www.yearofalabamafood.com.

Time to sign up for Alabama Restaurant Week

The sign up process is now open for restaurants to become a part of Alabama Restaurant Week. The process is quick and easy. Any Alabama restaurant that qualifies (and most quality if they are not part of a national chain) only has to entry their basic information at this time. You have until July 15 to enter your exact fix-priced meal offering Sign up at www.alabamarestaurantweek.com.

See the ABOUT section of www.alabamarestaurantweek.com for a summary of the rules of the promotion.

Alabama Restaurant Week is a August 16-August 25, 2013 promotion and is part of the Year of Alabama Food state tourism campaign. For more on Year of Alabama Food, contact Brian Jones Brian.jones@tourism.alabama.gov. For more on Alabama Restaurant Week, contact Grey Brennan grey.brennan@tourism.alabama.gov

Sign-Up period for April Walking Tours 2014 begins
Towns interested in participating in the 2014 April Walking Tours should respond with an email giving their town’s name, starting location, and shipping address to brian.jones@tourism.alabama.gov.

The hour long tours will start at 10:00 a.m. each Saturday morning in April. Dates for the 2014 April Walking Tours are April 5, 12, 19 and 26. “These tours are an excellent way for towns and communities of any size to be involved in a state-wide tourism campaign,” said Brian Jones with the Alabama Tourism Department. “There is no cost to participate and state tourism provides all the posters, brochures and collateral materials. More than 20,000 people have participated in the tours since the beginning of the program ten years ago” he said.

Some 23 towns across Alabama hosted the tours across the state in 2013. Towns with the most participants included Decatur with 230, Florence with 185 and Cullman with 169. Participants in the 2013 tours included: Athens, Atmore, Birmingham, Butler, Courtland, Cullman, Decatur, Eufaula, Fairhope, Florence, Huntsville, Madison, Mobile, Monroeville, Montevallo, Montgomery, Phenix City, Prattville, Selma, Sheffield, Sylacauga, Tuscumbia and Wetumpka.

Alabama’s tourism up 5 percent, state welcome center manager says
by William Thorntonal.com, May 06, al.com

The manager of Alabama’s Welcome Centers says tourism is up 5 percent over the past year, at a time when the economy is challenging all states throughout the region.
Frances Smiley, with the Alabama Tourism Department, said one of the reasons Alabama has been able to thrive is because of cooperation between government and private entities in spotlighting the state’s resources. One of the best years for the state’s Gulf Coast region was following the 2010 BP spill, she said.

“Not everyone in the Southeast can say that,” she said of this year’s increase. “It’s because we’re all working together throughout the state and people can see that.”

Smiley was speaking at the Calhoun County Chamber of Commerce’s Tourism Celebration. She has overseen the state’s eight welcome centers since 1999. She said the centers get 6 million visitors in an average year. For example, the Cleburne Welcome Center off Interstate 20 has between 650,000 to 850,000 visitors in a year’s time.

Another reason the state is welcoming more people is a series of yearly campaigns to spotlight different reasons to visit, such as food, outdoor activities or the arts. Those campaigns are aimed at the number one group taking to the roads – the family, she said.
“And we’re not just talking about moms and dads,” Smiley said. “We’re talking about grandparents, aunts and uncles. After 9/11, we were saying that people were more apt to travel within a 200 mile radius of their homes. Now we’re finding it’s up to a 350 mile radius.”

Marilyn Stamps to be honored after 27 years in tourism
Marilyn Jones Stamps has retired following 27 years in leadership positions with the Alabama Tourism Department. Since joining the staff in 1986, Marilyn held a variety of positions, including tourist promotion representative, emergency management coordinator, and most recently was the publications manager for the Alabama Vacation Guide and Calendar of Events. She served as the regional director for South Alabama for almost five years and was the designated representative for Alabama’s Black Belt. In 2000 and again in 2012, she was honored as the agency’s Employee of the Year.

Marilyn began state service at the Alabama Department of Public Health in 1978 during the Wallace administration and worked briefly for the Alabama Public Library Service. Altogether, Marilyn worked under seven governors and eight tourism directors during nearly 35 years in state government.

“Marilyn has been an invaluable asset to the tourism industry,” said director Lee Sentell. “She was instrumental in promoting several of our year-long campaigns, including food, sports, history and small towns and downtowns. She contributed greatly to our promotion of civil rights over the last several years. She will truly be missed,” he added. Fortunately for the industry, Marilyn will return to work in the summer with limited hours on select projects, Sentell said.

The department invites members of the tourism industry and other friends to honor Marilyn during a reception Thurs., May 23, at 2 p.m. in the Hall of Flags on the first floor of the Alabama Center for Commerce, 401 Adams Avenue.

Sixty-day window to nominate tourism points of interest for National Geographic project
The nomination window is now open for tourism points of interest in Alabama and three other gulf coast states for a special National Geographic Maps project that includes a website, mobile application and printed Geotourism MapGuilde.

The project, U.S. Gulf Coast States: Explore the Southern Crescent Geotourism Initiative, seeks to contribute to the economic health of communities in the four coastal states most affected by the 2010 DeepWater Horizon disaster by promoting tourism that sustains or enhances the geographical character of the four states, including its environment, culture, aesthetics, heritage and the well-being of its inhabitants.

A 60-day nomination period was announced in a joint news conference with tourism offices and National Geographic on May 15th. Nominations will be accepted through July 15, at www.usgulfcoaststatesgeotourism.com.

“The National Geographic Maps Division is pleased to have the opportunity to spotlight this region and, in doing so, support and sustain it as one of the world’s most treasured natural places,” said Jim Dion, sustainable tourism program manager, National Geographic Maps. “The MapGuide will celebrate the four U.S. Gulf Coast states’ abundant scenic, cultural and historical attributes from the unique vantage point of those who live there.”

The U.S. Gulf Coast States Geotourism map and website will highlight sites and attractions that are unique, such as local restaurants, wildlife and scenic trails, bed and breakfasts, historic attractions, fishing destinations, museums, artist galleries.

The website and printed MapGuide will present to the public a variety of growing travel niches, including adventure, nature, cultural heritage and agro-tourism.

Grey Brennan of the Alabama Tourism Department encourages “Alabama residents, tourism organizations and tourism operators to select one-of-a-kind places integral to the distinctive character of the hometown and nominate.” With a deadline of July 15th, Brennan urges everyone to start the nomination process immediately.

The finished website, mobile application and printed MapGuide will be available to the public in December 2013.

For more information on Alabama nominations, contact Grey Brennan of the Alabama Tourism Department. Grey.brennan@tourism.alabama.gov or 334-242-4459

Visiting Places of Baseball History Related to Jackie Robinson
by Paul Post,May 7, Sports Collectors Digest
Alvin Harris can’t wait to see his handiwork in the movie 42 starring Chadwick Boseman as Jackie Robinson and Harrison Ford as Branch Rickey.

When film crews showed up at historic Rickwood Field, America’s oldest ballpark, in Birmingham, Ala., they didn’t know how to chalk the foul line running from home plate to first base.
So Harris, the park’s head groundskeeper, came to the rescue and earned a nickname in the process.
“I made such a straight line, they called me Radar,” he said, smiling. “That’s my new name. Alvin ‘Radar’ Harris!”

He protects the historic stadium, which opened on Aug. 18, 1910, with tender loving care, but welcomes each guest like royalty, pointing out hidden features they wouldn’t know about otherwise. For example, there’s a gap in the wooden outfield fence where people can go to see the park’s original perimeter, a roughly 10-foot high concrete wall. It’s a mind-boggling experience because a bronze plaque indicates the spot where Walt Dropo once hit a ball an amazing 467 feet from home plate.

For the entire article, go to: http://www.sportscollectorsdigest.com/features/visiting-places-of-baseball-history-related-to-jackie-robinson

Event featuring Homer Hickam and writing contest winner raises awareness for Alabama’s Lookout Mountain region
by Kelly Kazek, al.com, May 14
A May 10 event featuring “Rocket Boys” author Homer Hickam of Huntsville and the winner of a fiction writing contest sponsored by a new regional magazine raised awareness of tourism in the Lookout Mountain region and money for a community kitchen.

Hickam visited with students at Fort Payne High School in the afternoon and then spoke at a dinner Friday night at Cook Castle. The dinner, sponsored by Lookout Alabama magazine and the Southeastern Literary Tourism Initiative, raised more than $800 for Bread of Life Community Kitchen through sponsorships and a silent auction.

Hickam, best known for his memoir that was made into the film “October Sky,” was a judge in the inaugural writing contest in which stories are set locally to encourage tourism.

Natalie Cone of Trussville was named the winner for her short story, “The Totem,” spotlighting Fort Payne and Desoto State Park. State Sen. Clay Scofield, chair of the Alabama Senate Tourism and Marketing Committee, presented Cone with a $500 check from the Alabama Tourism Department at Lookout 2013.

Cone’s story will be published in the inaugural issue of Lookout Alabama magazine in June and on the SELTI website, with photos of the places referenced in Cone’s fictional story, along with a tourism guide that includes links to websites with information on visiting sites mentioned in the piece.

Dinner sponsors were Kamama, Cancer Care Center of DeKalb, Mentone Realty, GH Metal Solutions and Pioneer Bridges.

Along with articles highlighting intriguing people and places in the Lookout Mountain area, each issue of Lookout Alabama will contain short fiction or poetry set in the region.

“We are very excited to showcase the talents of writers with an interest in the Lookout Mountain area,” said Olivia Grider, editor of Lookout Alabama magazine. “We also were fortunate to partner with the Southeastern Literary Tourism Initiative. This contest fit perfectly with the mission and goals of Lookout Alabama, and we believe it is a win-win for the magazine, SELTI and our readers.”
With the nation’s economy struggling, tourism fiction could prove to be an innovative tool that helps boost state and city economies wherever it is applied, SELTI Founder Patrick Miller said.
“Consumer spending accounts for 70 percent of the nation’s economy, and tourism is one of the richest sources of consumer spending,” he said. “Yet hardly anyone has tapped the vast potential of novels and other literary fiction to drive tourism to real attractions.”

The Alabama Legislature recently passed Senate Joint Resolution 25, which expresses support for authors and publishers who produce works of fiction set in real Alabama places.
http://www.al.com/entertainment/index.ssf/2013/05/event_featuring_homer_hickam_a.html#incart_river_entertainment

Founder’s park amphitheater groundbreaking and recognition of Daikin, America Inc.
The City of Decatur, Alabama will officially break ground on the Founders Park amphitheater on Friday, May 24, 2013 at 11:00 AM. The event will also recognize and honor the $100,000 contribution made by Daikin, America, Inc. in generous support of this project. The amphitheater is also being funded by a grant of $50,000 from ADECA’s Land and Water Conservation Fund matched by $50,000 in city funds. A brief program will begin at 11:00 AM and will be followed by refreshments at the Old StateBank.

The City of Decatur’s 1833 Old State Bank is a building with a wealth of historical and architectural significance. Fronting the building is a two acre greenspace known as “Founders Park” which was created in the 1990’s to help preserve the frontal view of this landmark structure, provide a greenspace for the adjacent historic downtown and historic residential neighborhoods, serve as a link from the downtown to the riverfront, create an area for special events and heritage/cultural tourism development and define a major entry into Decatur’s historic districts. The project will construct an amphitheater stage in the park that complements the architecture of the OldState Bank and is linked aesthetically to other parks that have been developed in the city. The construction of the amphitheater stage will give the park a dedicated use and a unique function from other city facilities. Founders Park and its amphitheater will be an asset of lasting significance that local citizens will take pride in and will serve as a calling card for visitors to the area. The amphitheater stage is phase one of a multi-phased plan.

“We are thrilled to have wonderful corporate citizens in Decatur, such as Daikin, America, Inc. , who generously support the revitalization of our downtown and our community through projects such as Founders Park,” said Rick Paler, DDRA Executive Director. The event on the 24th will include presentations by Daikin, America officials. The amphitheater in Founders Park is envisioned as a place of music, laughter, drama, learning, cultural exploration, relaxation, inspiration and a place to reconnect with Decatur’s past.

Space & Rocket Center site for rollout of only U.S. car to race in international Greenpower race
High school students from the Huntsville City School District showcased their research and work for the Greenpower Car Race at a presentation at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center May 17. The students are a part of the district’s Huntsville Center for Technology, and this group will be the first team from the United States to ever compete in a Greenpower Race in the United Kingdom.
The Greenpower Education Trust sponsors the event, an electric car challenge, which requires students, with help from teachers and industry mentors, to design, build, and race an electric car. Each team is given the same standard motor, set of batteries, and a strict set of regulations to follow. Students must use all of their science, technology, engineering, and math skills to come up with a vehicle to compete. The racing season consists of eight Championship rounds that each has a duration of 90 minutes.

The event that the Huntsville students will compete in for the very first time is the Central South Regional Heat, on Sun., June 9, at the Goodwood Motor Circuit at Chichester, West Sussex in the United Kingdom. The competition will provide an excellent opportunity for Huntsville students to showcase their design and manufacturing abilities. The Huntsville Center for Technology was chosen because of its proven track record of industry collaboration through projects with NASA, Dynetics, Teledyne Brown, and Siemens.

The Greenpower Education Trust has a vision of advancing education in engineering and associated subjects by presenting it as a fascinating and dynamic career choice for students. Since holding their first electric car challenge event in 1999, Greenpower has expanded its initiative and now works with 500 schools and over 8000 students around the UK. The Huntsville Center for Technology will be the first from the United States to work with the group.

Alabama Chanin’s studio featured in Garden & Gun
Garden & Gun, June/July 2013
A session of stitching and sewing in Florence, Alabama
When to go: Designer Natalie Chanin hosts weekend workshops at her Florence, Alabama, studio throughout the year. But during the August 16–18 session, the local farmers’ markets over-
flow with a bounty of summer produce, making Chanin’s 
family-style meals—included in the $1,125 admission fee—nearly as sumptuous as the clothes you’ll create.

What to expect: Aspiring and experienced stitchers spend the weekend working with Chanin and her staff to sew a garment from the designer’s famous line of handmade couture. Chanin’s intricately appliquéd dresses, tanks, and corsets all get their start in a former T-shirt factory in Florence, her hometown. “We make to order,” Chanin says. “What that means is we have all the materials to make these beautiful things here.” Enjoy access to a selection of the factory’s patterns, thread, and embroidery flosses, and a rainbow-hued library of organic cotton. Make that dress or jacket you’ve always coveted, learn a new technique, or try sewing for the first time under the tutelage of masters. The idea emerged from the same open-source ethos that inspired Chanin’s three books. Workshops are so popular that many attendees return three or four times.

Typical day: Stitchers gather Friday evening to select projects and sip cocktails. On Saturday morning, everybody sits down and starts to sew. “Then we just eat and drink and tell stories and laugh,” Chanin says. “It’s like a big old sisterhood for the rest of the weekend.” (Don’t worry, gents: The workshop is open to everyone.) Saturday lunch and Sunday brunch are served around big factory tables. Menus change according to seasonal availability and the chef, but expect satisfying fare like bread pudding or meat loaf from Florence’s mom-and-pop butcher shop. Spend your spare time visiting the only Frank Lloyd Wright house in Alabama or strolling downtown’s North Court Street, home of Billy Reid’s flagship store and the retro Trowbridge’s Ice Cream and Sandwich Shop. Leave with a finished project and a deeper appreciation for the value of sewing in our busy world. “It’s about being able to be a self-sufficient human being,” Chanin says. “But beyond that, there’s a joy, a happiness that it brings to people that surprises them.”

For the article in Garden & Gun, go to: http://gardenandgun.com/article/alabama-chanins-studio-weekend-workshop

Alabama History & Heritage webpages show dramatic increase
The Civil Rights page in the Alabama History & Heritage at www.deep-south-usa.com has increased an impressive 236% last month, putting it in the top 20 most visited sections of that United Kingdom based website. Seventy-two percent of viewers to the site were from the United Kingdom.
The overall Alabama History & Heritage section on the website also had an increase of 31%.

The massive increase was in the month leading to the 50th anniversary of the Dr. Martin Luther King’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” and coincides with the search phrase “Birmingham 50th anniversary civil rights” being the 3rd most popular keyword search on the Deep South USA website last month. Those searches were 100% from U.K. based website viewers.

This year, there has been a major public relations and marketing push in connection with the beginnings of important Alabama Civil Rights anniversaries by the Alabama Tourism Department’s U.K. based representation firm.

To view the Civil Rights section on the Deep South USA website, go to www.deep-south-usa.com/alabama/history-and-heritage/civil-rights.

To view the Alabama History & Heritage webpage, go to http://www.deep-south-usa.com/alabama/history-and-heritage

For more information on Alabama’s International efforts, contact Grey Brennan grey.brennan@tourism.alabama.gov or Della Tully della.tully@btinternet.com.

Revived and relocated Globe restaurant sees sales steady
by Stephen Dethrage, May 17, al.com
Recently relocated restaurant The Globe is starting to see its sales steady this week, but owner and head chef Jeff Wilson said he almost had to close his doors and call it quits after only two months in his new downtown Tuscaloosa location because of the length of time it took to get his liquor license approved and received.

A faithful lunch crowd kept The Globe open, though, and Wilson said he expects better times after finally getting the liquor license.

“I think The Globe is a very unique restaurant. We are truly locally owned and operated. Our food is simple and prepared with the utmost care and detail,” Wilson said. “I think if the public gives us a try they will find that our food is very good and affordable.”

For the entire article, go to: http://www.al.com/entertainment/index.ssf/2013/05/revived_globe_restaurant_sees.html

Prop & Gavel opens on Monroeville’s historic downtown square
Monroeville, “Alabama’s Literary Capital” has a new crown jewel in the Prop & Gavel Restaurant which opened May 3, to great fanfare and rave reviews, during the height of “To Kill A Mockingbird” play season. Owners Pat and Tonja Carter renovated a building on the square’s south side. They discovered and restored several treasures in the renovation, including a hand-painted Coca Cola sign affixed to a brick wall, covered up with plaster and plywood, dating to the late 1930’s and advertising the “Monala Ladies Lounge”, as well as wood floors that have been sanded and refinished to their original glory. The building’s fixtures and furnishings are a story in themselves, including a bar that dates back to the Great Depression and which came from bikers’ mecca Sturgis, South Dakota, chairs made of repurposed wood from a British consulate, and wine casks used to make tables.

The Prop & Gavel also has a rooftop deck and seating area, where diners may overlook the historic Courthouse Square? The restaurant’s name is derived from its owners’ respective occupations. Tonja, an attorney and Pat, a pilot collaborated on the unique name. On a recent evening visit, “To Kill a Mockingbird” theme music wafted gently through the breeze as patrons enjoyed wine and dinner on the rooftop deck.

As Tonja recently commented, “Our vision with this business is to help further revitalize the square and make Monroeville even more of a destination.” If great food, incredible service, stunning atmosphere and select spirits are enough, the Carters have achieved a true culinary success story.
Find Prop & Gavelon Facebook, or better yet, visit at 42 East Claiborne Street, Monroeville, 251/575-PROP!

Walk Monroeville
Walk Monroeville is a new publication that outlines the many highlights in Monroeville.   Walk Monroeville is distributed by the Monroeville /Monroe County Chamber of Commerce.
To request a copy of Walk Monroeville, e-mail info@monroecountyal.com.

Appalachian Regional Commission to produce local food map guide with American Heritage Publishing
March 2013
Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) and American Heritage Publishing have partnered to collaborate on the production of a tourist-oriented “map guide” designed to boost tourism and stimulate economic development in the Appalachian Region by showcasing its food-heritage and agritourism attractions. Sites to be featured on the map guide will include local farms, farmers markets, farm-to-table restaurants, and other distinctive food-related destinations.

American Heritage Publishing was selected for the project because of its knowledge of heritage destinations and its historical expertise. The map guide’s development will be guided by the members of ARC’s Tourism Advisory Council.

Site nominations are now being accepted from the public at  appfoodguide.com. All nominated sites must be located in the Appalachian Region and accept visitors. The nomination period ends June 9, 2013. Final site selections will be made by September 2013 by ARC, American Heritage Publishing, and the Tourism Advisory Council.

The map guide will be available as a free insert in the spring 2014 issue of American Heritage magazine. It will also be distributed through targeted traveler mailing lists, regional welcome centers, and tourism trade shows.

appfoodguide.comMore information will be provided at and on the ARC Web site as the project develops. For questions about the map guide, contact ARC at info@arc.gov.

Pike County state public fishing lake temporarily closed for renovation
Lake to Reopen in 2015
Pike County Public Fishing Lake near Troy, Ala., has been temporarily closed for renovations and restocking. During the renovation period, the lake’s dam and valve system will be repaired. Heavy equipment work is also needed along several sections of shoreline and the lake’s access road. These repairs will make it necessary to drain and restock the lake.

The lake will be drained this spring. The valve replacement, dam and shoreline repairs will begin in the fall of 2013. The lake is scheduled to be refilled and restocked with bluegill and shellcracker in the winter of 2014. Largemouth bass and channel catfish will be stocked in 2014 and the lake should be ready for fishing by mid-summer 2015.

“Pike County has been a good lake for many years, but theses renovations should drastically improve the fishing,” said Ken Weathers, District 4 Fisheries Supervisor with the Alabama Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries. “With the City of Troy as a partner, this facility will soon be one of the outdoor gems in southeast Alabama.”

Pike County Public Fishing Lake is just one of 23 public lakes that offer excellent angling statewide. During the closure, anglers are encouraged to use the public lakes in Barbour, Crenshaw, Dale or Coffee counties. For more information about Pike County Lake, contact the District 4 Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries office at 334-347-9467. To find a public fishing lake nearest you, visit the Fishing Section of www.outdooralabama.com.

Free fishing day to help increase number of anglers in Alabama
Sat., June 8, Alabamians will have the opportunity to fish for free in most state waters. This Free Fishing Day is part of National Fishing and Boating Week, which runs June 1-9. Approved by the Alabama Legislature, Free Fishing Day allows residents and non-residents to fish without a fishing license for a day.

The fishing license exemption on Free Fishing Day does not affect some lakes that may still require fees and permits. Fishing in a private pond requires the pond owner’s permission. Anglers can visit www.outdooralabama.com/fishing/freshwater/whereto find a great fishing spot for Free Fishing Day.

“The annual Free Fishing Day is the perfect opportunity for non-anglers to test the fishing waters and to remind former anglers of all the fun they’ve been missing,” said Stan Cook, Fisheries Section Chief for the Alabama Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries. “It’s also a great opportunity for kids to get out and learn how fun and exciting fishing is, plus the day gives families a chance to do something together outdoors.”

The Eufaula/Barbour County Chamber of Commerce has new executive director
The Eufaula/Barbour County Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce the hiring of Sallie Garrison as its Executive Director. In January of this year, the Chamber’s Board of Directors voted to reorganize its staff in order to serve the Eufaula/Barbour County community more effectively. The Board was determined to hire an Executive Director with a commitment to this community who could enthusiastically implement the Chamber’s vision, and after an extensive selection process, tapped Garrison for the position.

A resident of Eufaula for almost 20 years and a small business owner for 10 years, Garrison brings a wealth of experience to this position. In addition to her business background, she has served as a volunteer for numerous organizations, including the Eufaula/Barbour County Chamber, United Way, Boys and Girls Club of Lake Eufaula, Friends of the Library, Friends of Fendall Hall, Eufaula Heritage Association, Barbour County Chapter of the American Cancer Society, Eufaula Parks and Recreation, and Christ Child Circle. We believe that Sallie has the vision and leadership skills necessary to be successful in executing the responsibilities of this position and moving the Chamber forward in a positive direction.

In addition to managing the daily operations of the Chamber, Garrison’s responsibilities will include leading the Chamber’s initiatives with respect to serving our current membership and growing new membership, promoting tourism and related tourism events, and actively overseeing economic development and community development initiatives. All of these initiatives are directed toward enhancing quality growth and quality of life for the community which we serve. She will begin her tenure as Executive Director on June 3. For more information about the Chamber and its services, please call 334.687.6664.

Marshall County CVB seeks new president
The Marshall County Convention & Visitors Bureau Board of Directors is seeking a person to fill the position of President. This position is responsible for the day-to-day activities of the organization including marketing, budget development, management of the organization, and supervision of employees and volunteers. This is a highly responsible administrative and managerial position of a professional nature and serves at the pleasure of the Board of Directors. To obtain a copy of the job description, contact Morri Yancy atmorri@lakeguntersville.orTo Apply: Interested candidates should submit a resume, cover letter and salary requirements to morri@lakeguntersville.org with the Subject line titled “MCCVB” or mail to MCCVB, President’s Position, PO Box 711, Guntersville, AL 35976


Tourism Day Celebrations at Welcome Centers
Celebration time at all Welcome Centers is: 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
May 24 – Grand Bay Welcome Center
May 30 – Dekalb Welcome Center
May 31 – Ardmore Welcome Center

Alabama Governor’s Conference on Tourism 2013
Mark your calendars for the Alabama Governor’s Conference on Tourism, Aug. 17-20, at the Westin Hotel in Huntsville.
Nominations for the Tourism Awards are now open. Please use this link to nominate a tourism professional: http://tourism.alabama.gov/forms/tourism-award-nominations/.
The last day for nominations is June 21.
For information and registration, go to: www.algovernorsconference.com

Alabama Tourism Department (ATD) upcoming events
Jul 29 – Aug1 Alabama/Georgia Motorcoach – Stone Mountain, GA
Aug 17-21 Alabama Governor’s Conference on Tourism – Huntsville, AL (Westin)
Sept 19 Alabama Mountain Lakes Annual Meeting

ATD is currently registering and planning for the following 2014 Consumer Shows:
Cincinnati Boat and Travel Show – Jan 17-19 & January 22-26, 2014
Louisville Boat Show – Jan 22-26, 2014
Indianapolis Boat and RV Show – Feb 14-23, 2014
Nashville Southern Women’s Show – Mar 27-30, 2014
If you are interested in working in the Alabama Tourism Department’s booth, please contact Rosemary Judkins at 334-242-4493 or rosemary.judkins@tourism.alabama.gov

The Alabama Tourism Department News 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

ALABAMA TOURISM DEPARTMENT
www.alabama.travel