Hamilton County commissioners are split on whether to use taxpayer dollars to help fund a memorial honoring Ed Johnson, a black man who was lynched from the Walnut Street Bridge in 1906. The Johnson Project has been underway since 2017 with a local committee leading the efforts to fund a permanent memorial, as well as the creation of a documentary and community presentations. Commissioners will vote next week on a resolution proposed by Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger to allocate $100,000 in county bond funds to the Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga to assist with the memorial, but some expressed concern at Wednesday's agenda session. "I think about Ed Johnson every time I walk across that bridge," said District 3 Commissioner Greg Martin. "I know this story, I believe this story and I think it's a story worth telling, but I have to say to you, despite my love and reverence I'm really struggling with this thought of using tax dollars to pay for historical monuments." … [Read more...] about Who should foot the $100,000 bill to help fund the Ed Johnson Memorial? Taxpayers? Hamilton County? CVB?
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Mike Zumbaugh Mike Zumbaugh Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press. The Chattanooga Convention & Visitors Bureau has hired a veteran finance and operations manager for tourism agencies in Michigan and Texas to serve as the first chief operating officer for the local tourism promotions group. Mike Zumbaugh, a certified destination management executive, joined the Chattanooga Convention and Visitors Bureau this month to focus on streamlining the company's finances, human resources and operations and implementing the bureau's strategic plan, which includes seeking accreditation through the Destination Marketing Accreditation Program. The accreditation program was developed to ensure tourism agencies are using the best financial practices. In 2017, the Chattanooga CVB was criticized in a state audit for failing to keep detailed receipts for credit card transactions under former bureau CEO Bob Doak. Hamilton County Commissioner Tim Boyd criticized the spending practices of … [Read more...] about Tourism bureau adds finance veteran as COO
Updated at 10:27 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2018, with more information. Gallery: Chattanooga Visitor's Bureau announces new strategic plan for tourism +6 more photos With a new board chairman and president, it was time that the Chattanooga Visitor's Bureau craft a renewed vision for tourism that will help increase the number of overnight visitors in the city and county. At the local tourism bureau's first "Tourism Summit" Tuesday afternoon at the Chattanooga Convention Center, CVB President and CEO Barry White announced the organization's new strategic plan to a room full of the area's top tourism leaders and government officials. This is the first strategic plan the CVB has put together in several years. With a new, lofty vision to be "the most competitive and innovated destination organization in the nation" by 2025, White said the CBV will work with partners to create a more unified, research-based branding strategy to use across all economic development platforms. "We, as a … [Read more...] about Chattanooga Visitor’s Bureau announces new strategic plan for tourism
With a new board chairman and new president, it was time that the Chattanooga Visitor's Bureau craft a renewed vision for tourism in the city and county for the next few years that will attract more overnight visitors. At the local tourism bureau's first "Tourism Summit" Tuesday afternoon at the Chattanooga Convention Center, CVB President and CEO Barry White announced the organization's new strategic plan to a room full of the area's top tourism leaders and government officials. This is the first strategic plan the CVB has put together in several years. With a new, lofty vision to be "the most competitive and innovated destination organization in the nation" by 2025, White said the nonprofit will work with partners to create a more unified, research-based branding strategy to use across all economic development platforms. "We, as a community, need to have a unified voice in how we present ourselves to the rest of the world," he said. In 2017, Hamilton County saw $1.1 billion in direct … [Read more...] about CVB announces new strategic plan for Chattanooga at tourism summit
Tennessee visitors spent more than $20 billion last year, setting a new record for tourism in the state and in Hamilton County, according to U.S. Travel Association numbers released Tuesday. Gov. Bill Haslam announced the record $20.7 billion in direct visitor spending at the Musicians Hall of Fame in Nashville, stating every county saw more than $1 million in visitor spending last year. Hamilton County hit $1.1 billion in direct visitor spending — a 4.6 percent increase over 2016 — putting it behind only Davidson County with $6.5 billion, Shelby County with $3.5 billion and Sevier County with $2 billion. Knox County also had about $1.1 billion in tourism spending. Staff photo by Erin O. Smith / Susan Clark and Terry Kuhn of Decherd, Tenn., check out the otter exhibit at the Tennessee Aquarium on Thursday, May 25, 2017, in Chattanooga, Tenn. Thursday was Clark's and Kuhn's first time visiting the aquarium. Staff photo by Erin O. Smith / Susan... Photo by Erin … [Read more...] about Tennessee, Hamilton County see record tourism spending in 2017