From Jim Stalker
People who write letters to the editor are often confused by the confusion they write about in trying to sort out the information they have before them. The last letter I wrote was all about the state of tourism in Union County and the decision by the hospital to farm out our hospice care. I just assumed that Medicare or some other form of insurance would cover hospice care and the expenses of running our unique facility would be figured into that, before the construction of our hospice building. Apologies to the hospital board.
As for the state of tourism in Union County, we already supported our natural points of interest, the lakes and what used to be, a great pheasant population that attracted a great many people to hunt. With the introduction of turkeys by the DNR, the pheasant hunting of the past has killed that kind of tourism. As for advertising? The city of Creston’s hotel/motel tax is divided to allow a portion for tourism advertising and that is being done. The best way is word of mouth, and that should also be ongoing.
In the old days, when we were in our fledgling years as volunteers, we brainstormed at finding new ways to develop tourism. Using that cliche’ “If you build it, they will come” concept, we concentrated in that direction. But alas, nothing substantial came into our fields of vision, and we settled on promoting the passive attractions, the lakes and recreation associated with that and on the bagging of wild game.
At present, Ellen Gerharz, Jane Briley and Kathy Parmenter are the lone volunteers in Union County who sell the ads, put together, and distribute the annual tourism guide for Union and the surrounding counties that used to make up Southern 9 Tourism, a grassroots organization formed by volunteers within the state’s division of western and central tourism development. Jane is the last remaining original Union County volunteer from Southern 9. Jane, as well as Ellen and Kathy, should be commended for their efforts to promote Union County tourism.