By Jeff Noble / Staff Writer
Portia Gosser says “Corbin Loves Company.”
And she told the Corbin Tourism and Convention Commission’s board it would make a great way to brand the city’s tourism efforts.
Corbin’s new Director of Tourism brought up the idea during the commission’s regular meeting Tuesday at their new headquarters on the Cumberland Falls Road.
Showing the brochure that Tourism currently uses, Gosser then took another brochure from another city, which opened up containing a map showing that town’s attractions.
She noted the locations for lodging, restaurants and shopping could be located in one area, with a calendar of events in another part of the brochure.
Other important information, such as phone numbers and websites, would also be displayed in the new brochure, with the “Corbin Loves Company” slogan prominently displayed on the brochure’s front page.
“All the information is right here,” Gosser said to the board members.
She stated the office would order three new racks to hold the new brochures at a total of $600. The board later voted to approve the purchase.
Other ideas brought up were for Corbin Tourism to have their own page on the social media site Facebook, and having a computer application, or “app,” available for people to use on their mobile devices to let visitors see what the city has to offer.
Action was taken on updating the tourism board’s website. It will cost $1,000 to update and make changes, along with the commission paying the webmaster $24.99 a month for maintaining the site. After a motion was made late in the session, the action was approved.
The new signs at the tourism office’s new location at 1610 Cumberland Falls Highway, Suite 7 are now up. The larger sign can be see from the highway on both sides, while two smaller signs — saying “Visitor Information” above the window, with the other listing the commission’s telephone number near the door — are located at the entrance.
She added efforts to have blue “Tourist Information” signs put up at Exit 25 of I-75 are in progress, and was working with Frankfort to have more information on the signs next week.
Gosser noted she would like the Tourism Commission to become a member of the Kentucky Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaus (KACVB), after she recently attended a meeting of the Kentucky Travel Industry Association (KTIA) in Frankfort. She mentioned she and Associate Director Margaret “Maggy” Kriebel would like to attend the KACVB convention next month. Later, approval was given for the two to go to the KACVB convention and for Corbin Tourism to join the organization.
Other meetings were held by Gosser with Corbin’s City Manager, Marlon Sams and the Corbin Arena’s Manager, Connie Hunt on ways to cross-promote the city and the Arena with the tourism efforts.
She and Kriebel also met with Main Street Manager Andy Salmons on different occasions, getting updates and progress reports on the ever-changing scene in the downtown area involving renovations, improvements and new businesses coming in.
Gosser told the board that people and organizations requesting money from Corbin Tourism would now have to submit a budget to the commission, showing how they’ll use the funds for the projects, programs and events they want to have.
Other actions made by the board included approving Gosser and Kriebel the authority to sign checks. Approval was also given to purchase inventory and appliances for the new tourism office, such as a small refrigerator, coffeemaker, a supply cabinet and office supplies, for $2,500.
Kriebel updated the Sanders Park project, and said she’s also working with Salmons on improving downtown Corbin. She turned some of her part of the report over to Salmons, who asked commission members permission to use their property at the corner of South Main and Monroe Streets again this year for the Whitley County Farmers’ Market.
Along with using the property for last year’s wildly successful Farmers’ Market, Salmons noted the site would see some improvements made by the city, such as providing permanent electrical outlets and painting the wall an attractive color.
“It will look better and be an asset to the community. …We still want to have it where it was this year,” he said.
Salmons noted his organization would ultimately like to establish a year-round indoor Farmers’ Market in Corbin in 2015.
After a motion was made, approval was given to have the Farmers’ Market again at the Main and Monroe location.
Salmons mentioned the opening date for this year’s Farmers’ Market in Corbin is presently scheduled for April 29.
In other news at the meeting, the commission got a request from officials with the “Cumberland Valley Cruise-In,” which wants to hold their June and July events in downtown Corbin. They asked for $2,500 for both events, making a total request of $5,000. The money would be used by the group for mailing flyers out and to advertise the event, as well as hiring a DJ for music.
Salmons said the June cruise-in would be held the same day as one of his organization’s “Moonbow Nights,”
Board members agreed to approve the June request, since the cruise-in was already budgeted for Fiscal Year 2014.
As for the July event, they tabled that decision until this spring, when they can allocate money for that cruise-in to their new Fiscal Year 2015 budget and approve it. The 2015 Fiscal Year begins July 1 of this year
For the 2nd Annual Corbin Gospel Music Concert scheduled for April 25 at the Corbin Arena, a motion was made to give the organization’s board a $1,000 donation, the same as last year. But the motion was not seconded, and the motion failed.
Last month, members of the Corbin Gospel Music Concert, Inc. requested a $2,500 donation, with the money helping to pay the $2,500 cost to rent the Corbin Arena.
Earlier, a presentation of the draft audit was made by Wallace Smallwood of Cloyd & Associates.
Smallwood told the board two motels located in the Exit 25 area of I-75 had not been paying room transient taxes. Certified public accountant and board financial advisor Kyle Perkins explained, “Landmark (The Landmark Inn) is a couple of periods behind, but the new owners are paying it. It’s the old owners who didn’t pay it.”
Smallwood also noted that Mountain View Inn had not paid their room transient taxes.
“As of this time, you turn it over to the City Attorney, and consider it bad debt. It won’t be in the budget figure. It’s no longer treated as revenue,” he said.
“We’re talking about materiality,” Perkins mentioned.
“What I looked at not paid could be material. … We can finish this up pretty fast, once you get the receipt,” added Smallwood.
Perkins told the board, “I might recommend we establish a bad debt account. … The commission has no idea how much is owed. How much we don’t know. I would suggest we do some investigation before we do litigation on what we can do about the bad debts.”
A motion was made to investigate the matter first, which was approved.
The Corbin Tourism and Convention Commission’s next regular meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, March 11 at 5:15 p.m.