Natchez’s recognition can help state, too

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 31, 2003

NATCHEZ &045; Natchez’s being named as one of America’s Dozen Distinctive Destinations for 2003 will boost not only this city’s tourism numbers but those of the state as a whole.

That’s according to Mary Beth Wilkerson, deputy director of the Division of Tourism.

She, along with Mississippi Heritage Trust Director David Preziosi, presented to Mayor F.L. &uot;Hank&uot; Smith a certificate of the award during Tuesday’s Board of Aldermen meeting.

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&uot;Natchez is certainly deserving of this honor,&uot; Wilkerson said. &uot;The national publicity Natchez will receive Š can only increase tourism in Natchez and the state as a whole.&uot;

Preziosi, a former city planner who nominated Natchez to the National Trust for Historic Preservation for the honor, said Natchez is the first Mississippi city to receive the designation.

Natchez is a city with unique architecture, natural resources, culture and people, &uot;a distinctive place, Š and more people should know about it,&uot; Preziosi said.

The fact that Natchez has developed its assets while retaining its unique character and sense of place is a tribute to the city and its citizens, he said.

Other tourism-related matters also took up much of the meeting, with bids being taken for landscaping and security at the Natchez Visitor Reception Center.

Bids accepted by the board included an offer of $1,630 a month from Devening Lawn Care for landscaping and $25,000 for a 13-month security contract from Dawson Security.

The board voted to allow Tourism Director Walter Tipton to spend $8,400 from his budget to install automatic door openers for the Visitor Reception Center.

It also voted to allow Tipton to enter into a five-year, $1,200 contract with Muzak for music at the Natchez Convention Center.