Conference put off until November

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 15, 2008

NATCHEZ — For several reasons, the Preserve America Mayor’s Conference on Heritage Tourism has been temporarily postponed.

The shift from the original date Aug. 21-23 to sometime in November is being looked at positively.

The crux of it really lies in funding, said Nick Jenisch, project planner for the Tulane Regional Urban Design Center — one of the entities hosting the conference.

Email newsletter signup

The funding is coming from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and Jenisch said it will now be filtered through the Preserve America Foundation to Tulane.

While the flow of the money has changed insignificantly, Mayor Jake Middleton said this will allow for more funding to flow into the event.

Jenisch also said they were trying to organize it too quickly, now they have more time.

He said currently, Tulane representatives are visiting cities in Mississippi to invite mayors to the conference.

“It’ll afford us an opportunity to look at each city a little more closely,” Jenisch said.

Jenisch said November seemed to be the time that would best work with having the conference in Natchez.

“That’s what we’re targeting right now,” Jenisch said. “We want to avoid major events in Natchez, like Pilgrimage and the Balloon Race.”

The mayor’s conference — the first of its kind — is hosted not only by Tulane’s urban design center, but also by the Historic Natchez Foundation and the Mississippi Department of Archives and History.

It’s essentially an opportunity for about 10 to 12 Mississippi mayors to get together, bring their respective city projects to the table and brainstorm.

Design, preservation, finance, development and tourism professionals will be present during the conference to assist and offer advice to the mayors.

Middleton will be the host of the conference and said he believes this delay is beneficial.

“In the end it’s going to be better for everyone involved.