Faces, not places, make Natchez tick

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Throughout the world, Natchez is known for a number of things — buildings, historic sites, scenic roadways, views of the river — just to name a few.

But while the “things” of Natchez may bring visitors to our community, something far more rare, far more special brings those visitors back year after year — our residents.

On Monday night, the Natchez-Adams County Chamber of Commerce honored more than three-dozen of our area’s finest residents during its annual tourism awards presentation.

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It’s easy for locals to look at the huge mansions or towering hotels and identify the properties with their owners. In a small town, the owners of some of the most impressive attractions are often long-time residents or other familiar faces.

But often the visitors who come to Natchez may not see the owners. Instead they’re greeted by the person working at the front desk, the waitress taking their lunch order or the stranger on the sidewalk who gives them directions.

That’s why this year’s tourism awards were so fitting. The awards touched on nearly every level of the tourism and hospitality industry, from wealthy property owners to the service workers who make sure Natchez has its best face on when tourists come to visit.

We congratulate each award recipient and are honored to have such a great group of people in our community.

And we thank the Chamber for recognizing the people — not just the things — who keep the tourism business working in our community.