Eylon encouraged the audience to never rule Meigs County out of a destination in terms of tourism.
“People are looking for authentic experiences...they’re looking for hidden gems...Southeast Ohio is so full of hidden gems,” Eylon said.
Eylon used numbers and statistics to underline the value of tourism dollars to not only Ohio but Meigs County. Eylon said according to his office, in a year, tourism in Meigs County brought in an estimated $11.2 million into the economy, translated into eight percent of all full-time jobs and was responsible for generating $697,000 in state and local taxes. Eylon said in 2007, $25 billion in direct visitor spending generated $38 billion in total sales across Ohio that same year in relation to the tourism industry.
Eylon said despite the economic downtown, Ohio stood poised to benefit from leisure travel for families who don’t have a lot of time or money to spend on long vacations. He said Ohio is uniquely positioned for these short, leisurely, “one-tank” vacations being located a days drive from 60 percent of the United State’s population.
Eylon said today’s vacationers want to reconnect with family, rekindle relationships, reunite with a friend, rejuvenate, relax.
Questions and comments to Eylon included the need for a mountain biking trail in the county, how to market to groups and the need to attract more visitors from Athens County.
Also announced at the luncheon were the following upcoming events: June 13, dedication of Chester Academy and children’s quilt show; Sept. 12, Racine’s Party in the Park and Cruisin’ Saturday Night Car Show featuring country singer Joe Diffie.
Bob Hood, executive director of the Gallia County CVB and president of Ohio’s Appalachian Counties, announced the Appalachian Regional Commission Conference will be held in October in Athens and governors from all 13 Appalachian states will be in attendance, including Gov. Ted Strickland who will be speaking.
At 6:30 p.m., June 2 at Southern Elementary, a public hearing on a modification of American Municipal Power-Ohio’s draft air permit is planned.
Power Up Weekend, May 29-31, Freedom Center Ministries in Middleport, motivational speakers Marion & Kathy Boggs who have worked with Dr. Phil. Call 992-FREE for more information.
Meigs County Chamber of Commerce Golf Scramble, 11:30 a.m., lunch, registration, 1 p.m., shotgun start, Riverside Golf Course, Mason, W.Va.
“Why Marketing is Important for Business Survival” class by Dr. Jane Sojka, marketing professor at Ohio University, 9 a.m. - 10:30 a.m., May 28, Pomeroy Library. Cost is $10 collected at the door. Call Michelle Donovan at 992-5005 for more information.
Yesterday’s luncheon was catered by and held at the Wild Horse Cafe.