Tourism Council applauds area promoters

Published 12:19 am Friday, May 14, 2010

NATCHEZ — Tourism promotion isn’t office work.

Promoting a city happens in restaurants, gift shops, bed and breakfast establishments and even on the street corner, and the Natchez-Adams Chamber of Commerce Tourism Council said a big “thank you” to all the faces of tourism promotion at the annual tourism awards ceremony Thursday in conjunction with national tourism week.

Natchez Mayor Jake Middleton said tourism work isn’t something that starts at 8 a.m. and ends at 5 p.m.

“Tourism promotion is hard work that happens every day,” he said. “We all have to work every day to promote Natchez and the Miss-Lou.

“I’m thankful for all the people that we have that believe in tourism and work so hard to make it better.”

René Adams, a member of the tourism council, said making tourism all it can be in Natchez takes teamwork.

“Tourism is not a one-person effort,” she said.

Awards were presented to housekeeping staff members, restaurant staff members, homeowners and others who have a hand in making sure visitors enjoy their Natchez experiences.

Tourism Superstar awards were presented to those who go above and beyond in the tourism industry.

Recipients were Mary Williams, Mike Lomasney, Joseph Bullen, Barbara Nell Lomasney, Janet Tyler, Sherry Byrnes, Ruth Nichols, Bryant Reed, Wendy Grandin, Caroline Doughty, Lanius Fortenbery, Nancy Best, Randy Ellis, Rose Borum, Pat Jones, Orshay Seals, Margaret Bryd, Rosie Smith, Barbara Rodriquez, Brian Johnson, Melanie Trippe, Bingo Starr, Keith Wells and Tiffany Mascagni.

Property of the year awards were presented to two business that, Adams said, have shown a commitment to excellence to visitors and locals alike.

Fat Mamas Tamales and Pig Out Inn were both named properties of the year.

“That corner of Canal Street is always happening,” Adams said.

The attraction of the year was given to Ginger Hyland and Regina Charboneau for their efforts to organize Christmas in Natchez: City of Lights.

The event of the year was given to the Carolyn Vance Smith and Copiah-Lincoln Community College Natchez campus for the Natchez Literary and Cinema Celebration that takes place each year in February.

Mint Julep awards are given to families who have a legacy of tourism promotion. This year’s awards went to Parsonage owners, the Metcalf family and long-time Fair Oaks owners, the Lanneau family.

Gone but not forgotten awards are presented in honor of locals who have died, but will be remembered for their dedication to Natchez.

This year’s honorees were Kirk Bartley, Frances Trosclair, Mary Frances and Thurston Jones, Eula Lee Bull, John and Betty Callon, Sim Callon, Charlie Montgomery, Pete Burns, Mr. and Mrs. Bazille Lanneau Sr., Jack Benoist, Sarah McGehee, Jack Pitchford and Inez Marlow.