Locals honored with tourism awards

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 19, 2006


staff reports

NATCHEZ &8212; A special day set aside to honor the tourism industry included thanks to many and awards to the past year&8217;s Natchez stars.

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The celebration of National Tourism Day Thursday at the Natchez Visitor Reception Center is one way to tell everyone about the importance of tourism, said Rene Adams, who served as mistress of ceremonies.

&8220;Tourism is a key part of our community and a vital industry for the state,&8221; Adams said.

Adams singled out those who &8220;work hard daily bringing in business and then providing service once they get here.&8221;

Tourism Superstar is the annual event&8217;s highest award. Those named superstars for the past year were Dr. Jim Coy, Karlyn Ritchie, Mark Porter, Terry Martin, Laura Godfrey, Bonnie Woodward, Bob Pollard, Margaret Hall, Beth Porter, Estelle King, Margaret Graves, David Gardner and Barbara Rodriguez.

&8220;These are individuals who work in the hospitality industry and have been nominated by their peers for the jobs they do,&8221; Adams said.

&8220;All are ambassadors for our city and go above and beyond the call of duty and we are pleased to recognize them.&8221;

Also honored with a memorial plaque were tourism supporters who have died in the past year.

They included John Callon, Yvonne Robbins, Alma Kellogg Carpenter, Will Feltus, Cotton Fortenberry, Karl Ewald Jr. and George Guido.

&8220;They carried on traditions and forged ahead with ever-changing ideas and brought worldwide knowledge and ideas to our community,&8221; Adams said.

&8220;Each one of these beautiful people touched tourism in some way and touched many of our hearts as well as guided us on how to carry on their love and passion for their community.&8221;

Stanton Hall and the Carriage House restaurant were named Property of the Year. &8220;Natchez tourism would not be the same without Carriage House fried chicken and buttered biscuits,&8221; Adams said. &8220;Together, Stanton Hall and the Carriage House are the icons for Natchez tourism.&8221;

The new fall event Art & Soul won Attraction of the Year. &8220;The first ever of its type of event brought over 45 artists and seven bands in the heart of downtown,&8221; Adams said.