Tennessee Department of Tourist Development presents July 2010 Rythm & News for industry partners of Tennessee
Articles Industry Trends Calendar Noteworthy Tips
A Message from
Commissioner Susan Whitaker

Dear Colleagues,

Wow! What an amazing start to our Tennessee summer tourism season – and it’s just what we needed to let the world know that this entire beautiful Volunteer state is open for business! Kudos to Butch Spyridon and the Nashville CVB for putting together a very effective media campaign in such a short time. The attendance numbers for the CMA Music Fest and Bonnaroo were fantastic, and, despite the hottest, muggiest stretch of weather I can recall, people had a great time listening to their favorite musical artists and enjoying the fun.

It was very nice to watch the national media pick up on the many positive stories about Tennessee tourism from Memphis in May to the Dollywood KidsFest grand opening. There is other good news out there, too: according to the U.S. Travel Association, travel is expected to increase by about 2.3% during this tourist season despite challenges presented by the economy and Mother Nature. People are value-shopping and looking for those ‘hot deals,’ but they are ready to get out and travel again.

Gas prices are certainly helping people feel comfortable about taking longer trips, just in time to Discover our Tennessee Trails & Byways. Our new Rascal Flatts spot is out there encouraging people that “Life is a Highway” and to take their next road trip in Tennessee. We are so grateful for their support in making such an effective marketing campaign. We just launched the White Lightning Trail on June 25 in East Tennessee, the fourth in our 16 state-wide trails program. White Lightning covers nine counties with more than 160 sites on a trail that goes by famous destinations as well as some of the hidden gems of the region.

according to the U.S. Travel Association, travel is expected to increase by about 2.3% during this tourist season... Travel has become a natural partner with social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter as people share their travel experiences and look for ideas about places to visit and things to do. Mobile applications enable people actually on the road to find information on destinations, hotels, restaurants and attractions. There are so many new sites and ‘apps’, it can become overwhelming to a marketer trying to stay current and relevant to today’s traveler.

In order to help our industry navigate through all these new opportunities, this year’s Governor's Conference on Tourism in Kingsport will start with a Super Seminar on Wednesday, Sept. 22, featuring two experts in the field.  Lori Cogan, senior vice president of the Tombras Group, and Sylvia Matiko, co-founder of A Different View, will focus on marketing to a new generation of visitors by creating experiences that connect with millennials.  It’s a ‘don't miss’ opportunity to develop new skills to market your destination, event or attraction. Make plans now to attend the conference. Details can be found at www.tenntourismroundtable.com.

The Fourth of July in Tennessee is always a major celebration throughout the state. Gatlinburg will hold the nation's first Independence Day Parade at midnight. Nashville will present its nationally recognized Music City, July 4th “Let Freedom Sing.”  The Town of Munford will celebrate the holiday with the U.S. Navy Band, there will be fireworks at Pickwick Landing State Park, and Crossville will honor the holiday with an Independence Day Children’s Parade, just to name a few. Get out there and wave a flag, enjoy the fireworks and celebrate this great freedom with which God has blessed our nation. We are so proud of our men and women in the armed forces that sacrifice so much of their own lives to make this country strong. You are our heroes!

Big city or small town, summertime is a great time to travel Tennessee. Just be sure to take some of your own time and enjoy. See you out on that highway!

Susan Whitaker

Featured Articles:

White Lightning Trail Launched

Pictured: Tourism Assistant Commissioner Jennifer
Spence, Director of Special Events for the City of
Knoxville Mickey Mallonee, Senior VP of Sales
and Marketing for Knoxville Tourism and Sports
Corporation Kim Paul Bumpas and Transportati

The Tennessee Departments of Tourist Development and Transportation, in partnership with the Knoxville Tourism and Sports Corporation and tourism organizations in nine counties officially launched the White Lightning Trail on June 25. The fourth of 16 self-guided driving trails in the Discover Tennessee Trails & Byways program, White Lightning features 160 tourism sites in Knoxville, Knox County and eight counties and features the East Tennessee Crossing Byway, one of Tennessee’s five National Scenic Byways.

Led by the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development, the White Lightning Trail is the result of multiple state agencies working together, as well as city and county officials in Anderson, Campbell, Claiborne, Cocke, Grainger, Jefferson, Knox, Hamblen and Union counties.

The special launch event was held at Calhoun’s at Bearden Hill in Knoxville, the trail’s final stop, and included remarks from Tourism Assistant Commissioner Jennifer Spence, Transportation Commissioner Gerald Nicely, Knox County Mayor Mike Ragsdale, Director of Special Events for the City of Knoxville Mickey Mallonee and Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Knoxville Tourism and Sports Corporation Kim Paul Bumpas.

“We have so much to offer our visitors in Tennessee, and while the Discover Tennessee Trails & Byways program includes the state’s major attractions, it specifically features backroads sites in our small towns and rural communities throughout all 95 counties,” said Assistant Commissioner Jennifer Spence. “The White Lightning Trail is but another selling point for the state, pointing out Tennessee’s rich history, unique finds and local favorites along the route.”

Tennessee's roadways and trails travel through areas rich in history and characterThe trail kicks off in Knoxville and guides tourists to ample local attractions on the way to cities such as Clinton, Jacksboro, Tazewell and Dandridge. The featured National Scenic Byway, East Tennessee Crossing, with noted history as the Cherokee Warriors’ Path, Wilderness Road, the Dixie Highway and Thunder Road, has been used since prehistoric times by travelers, hunters, and tourists alike.

“Tennessee's roadways and trails travel through areas rich in history and character,” said Commissioner Gerald Nicely. "To ensure visitors receive everything this trail has to offer, our team will be placing 150 signs over more than 300 miles of the trail by the end of August."

Music is a constant presence that lives within the sights and sounds of the trails and throughout Tennessee. White Lightning travels through the hometowns of some of country music’s biggest stars, including Roy Acuff, known as “King of Country Music,” Chet Atkins, born in Luttrell and an Opry regular, Carl Smith, known as “Mr. Country” and award-winning artist Kenny Chesney.

Tourism's Phyllis Qualls-Brooks stands with
Morris Smith, whose vintage 1949 Chevrolet
was part of the White Lighting Trail caravan.

In addition to popular attractions such as the Knoxville Zoo and Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame, other unique stops include Clinton’s Green McAdoo Cultural Center, where exhibits honor the famed “Clinton 12,” the 12 African-American students who first desegregated a state-supported high school, and Daniel Boone Visitor Information Center at Cumberland Gap National Historical Park. The trail takes visitors on a journey of living lore, filled with tales of bootleggers, moonshine and fast cars combined with breathtaking views of the Cumberland Gap.  

After the kickoff event in Knoxville, the celebration continued with a vintage car parade with stops and events on both the west and east sides of the trail, including the Roy Acuff Museum, Museum of Appalachia, Cove Lake State Park, downtown Dandridge, Douglas Lake Boat Launch, Crockett Tavern Museum and Clinch Mountain Overlook Restaurant. The final event took place at Lincoln Memorial University with a reception and movie premiere of the Thunder Road, moonshine-themed “Red Dirt Rising.” Following the kickoff events, the first-ever White Lightning Festival was held June 26 to highlight the Cumberland Gap region’s natural history as well as its unique landscape.

The launch of this trail generated national media coverage including the online travel sections of  USA Today, ABC News, MSNBC and much more.


Ranger Jimmy Jobe tells the Dover TN Surrender
House story to journalists Ta-Nehisi Coates,
Gary Peterson and Trilla Cook

West Tennessee Travel Writer Tour

Talk about immersion experiences - The Tennessee Department of Tourist Development, along with West Tennessee tourism partners, recently provided a group of national and regional travel writers a West Tennessee immersion experience second to none.

The stellar group of writers traveled from New York, Houston, Baltimore, Omaha, Austin,  Philadelphia, etc.  representing publications including AAA Home & Away, The Atlantic, Washington Post, AAA Carolinas Go Magazine and Dallas Morning News, to name a few.

The journalists were introduced to some of West Tennessee’s most popular and interesting tourism attractions.

Organized in association with Geiger and Associates, a highlight of the trip was showcasing West Tennessee's rich Civil War History leading up to the commemoration of the Sesquicentennial of the Civil War 2011-2015.

In addition to visiting Civil War sites, the group experienced West Tennessee's music, culinary, art and culture, agritourism, and shopping. The itinerary featured visits to Beale Street, Stax Museum of American Soul Music, Graceland, Sun Studios, National Civil Rights Museum, Peabody Ducks, Mississippi River Museum and much more. The journalists also visited Germantown, Bolivar, Savannah, Jackson, LaGrange, Collierville, Dover and sites along the Great River Road, a National Scenic Byway.

Cindy Dupree and Marty Marbry from TDTD accompanied the group, as well as representatives from Geiger and Associates and local tourism partners including Regena Bearden, Jackie Reed and Alissa Clark, Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau; Terry Crutcher, Stewart County Chamber; Jennifer Wheatley, Henry County Chamber; Bill Kee, Benton County Chamber; and Rachel Baker, Hardin County Chamber.

2010 Governor’s Conference on Tourism Registration

Early Bird Discount Available Through July 31

Registration for the 2010 Tennessee Governor’s Conference on Tourism is now open, and persons who register by July 31 will receive a $25.00 per registration discount.

The annual conference, which will be held this year at the MeadowView Marriott Conference Resort and Convention Center in Kingsport from September 22-24, is the premier annual event for the state’s tourism industry.  Conference registration includes all general sessions, educational seminars, social events, tradeshow admission, and all meals other than the Thursday evening Kingsport / NE Tennessee Dine Around.

Conference information and on-line registration is available on the Tennessee Tourism Roundtable (TTR) Web site at www.tenntourismroundtable.com.

The Governor’s Conference on Tourism is produced by TTR in partnership with the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development.

Civil War Happenings

Pictured: Norma Taylor - Casey Jones Museum
Historian, State Rep. Steve McDaniel, Dr. Carroll
Van West - MTSU, Commissioner Whitaker,
State Rep. Jimmy Eldridge

Casey Jones Village Dedicates Civil War Trails Marker  

Casey Jones Village recently held the Ribbon cutting commemorating the placement of the Jackson area Civil War gateway marker Thursday, on June 17th at in Casey Jones Village.  Tennessee Commissioner of Tourism Susan Whitaker attended the  historic marker dedication, along with other officials and the unveiling of Casey Jones Museum’s new exhibit entitled “Railroads and the Civil War in Tennessee.”  

The Tennessee Civil War Sesquicentennial marks the 150th anniversary of the Civil War from 2011 to 2015. Tennessee, the only entire state designated as a Civil War National Heritage area, currently has 150 newly interpreted trail markers as part of the Civil War Trails program, with an additional 150 sites currently in the works.
The Tennessee Civil War National Heritage Area tells the whole story of America’s Greatest Challenge, 1860-1875, through Civil War and Reconstruction-era sites and resources across the state. The TCWNHA, administered by the Center for Historic Preservation at Middle Tennessee State University, represents a partnership-based effort to preserve, enhance, interpret, and promote the legacy of the Civil War and its aftermath in Tennessee.
Visit the Civil War site on the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development web site at tncivilwar150.com.

Historic Neil House

Old Country Store Acquires Historic Neil House in Trenton
Brooks Shaw’s Old Country Store and Clark and Juanita Shaw have announced the relocation of the historic Neil House from Trenton, Tennessee to Casey Jones Village in Jackson, Tennessee later this summer.
The Neil House was built in 1837 and, at 173 years, is one of Tennessee’s oldest homes.  It has been an important part of Tennessee history and played a role in the Battle of Trenton during the Civil War when citizens gathered on its roof to watch the battle unfold.
It later became the home of Judge M.M. Neil, who served as Chief Justice of the Tennessee Supreme Court.
The Shaw family and their company, Brooks Shaw’s Old Country Store, have a passion for preserving history and plan to restore this Tennessee treasure to its original Antebellum period look.
Shaw said, "There are so many people and organizers to thank including the mayors of Trenton, Humboldt and Jackson, communities through which the home will pass."  Shaw continued, "Our gratitude to the utility and cable TV companies and AT & T, who will not only be lifting the phone lines all along the route, will also be providing a grant from its Foundation to help reduce the moving costs.  We'd also like to thank the house movers, building contractor and friend Joe Mitchell and the dismantling team headed by Bill McMillen.  Everyone we talked with was willing to partner with us to make this historic move possible."  Shaw added, "Our gratitude also goes out to State Representatives Jimmy Eldridge and Steve McDaniel who believed in the historical significance of this project and the support of the Parker's Crossroads Battlefield Association." 

Jones Village ~ An Antebellum Experience. The home is expected to be open to the public in the spring of 2011.  For more information, contact T. Clark Shaw at cshaw@caseyjones.com

Casey Jones Village is located in Jackson, Tennessee at 56 Casey Jones Lane near I-40 exit 80A. The web site is www.caseyjones.com.

Sustainable Tourism Updates

Tennessee Commissioners Susan Whitaker &
Jim Fyke Stand with Other Dignitaries at
the Official Ribbon Cutting


Cabins go green at David Crockett State Park

Seven new, energy-efficient cabins sporting cork flooring and native plant landscaping have been unveiled at David Crockett State Park in Lawrenceburg, TN, about 80 miles southwest of Nashville.

The cabins and the park’s 1,974-square-foot restaurant will be heated and cooled with the help of a geothermal system, that takes advantage of the stable temperature underground. The system will produce free hot water in the summer and is expected to reduce the cost of heating and cooling in the park’s buildings by 40-60 percent, while reducing energy-driven pollution.

Other new designs and technologies focus on pollution prevention, children’s health and storm water management, officials say.

“These contemporary, LEED cabins further demonstrate Tennessee State Parks’ commitment to ensure our visitors enjoy outstanding accommodations, while leaving a lighter footprint on our natural resources,” said Jim Fyke, Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation Commissioner.

The cabins are expected to receive silver certification as a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) project, the first of their kind in a Tennessee State Park. Call the park at 931.762.9408 for reservations.

David Crockett’s greened cabins bring the total of Tennessee State Parks’ environmentally friendly-designed accommodations to 15 – joining Montgomery Bell State Park’s eight energy efficient villas, that debuted last October. Funding for the seven new Green Cabins was made available through a $2.5 million capital project in fiscal year 2005-2006, including design, total construction costs, furnishings and fixtures.

Green Certification Workshops to be held Statewide

The Tennessee Department of Tourist Development (TDTD) is partnering with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) to host five regional green certification workshops in Gatlinburg, Nashville, Jackson, Memphis, and Knoxville.  The green certification workshops are a continuation of the Tennessee Sustainable Tourism Initiative.   


TDTD and TDEC jointly applied for and received a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Pollution Prevention Source Reduction Grant which will fund the green certification workshops. The purpose of the grant is to research and develop a sustainable state level green certification program for Tennessee's tour and travel industry. 

This initiative will encourage the state's tour and travel industry to become leaders in the implementation of energy, water and waste conservation, pollution prevention, and sustainable business practices.  The overall goal of the program is to establish a regional model for certification by working with EPA and the green hospitality guidelines they have established, along with the recognition of award winning programs such as Chattanooga Green, and the Tennessee Hospitality Association's Green Certification Program.

The workshops will be attended by local leaders and key partners associated with attractions, lodging/hotels, and restaurants who would be interested in participating in the green certification workshop, and providing input as to what a state level green certification program should look like for Tennessee's tour and travel industry. 

Attendance at the workshop will range from 70 - 100 attendees based on space availability at each location.  Registration for the workshop is required as seating is limited.  Please ask all attendees to register for the workshops via email at patricia.gray@tn.gov or 615-741-9004.

The following are dates and locations for the additional four green certification workshops:

July 21st –Gatlinburg  The Hilton
August 19th - Nashville  The Hutton Hotel
September 14th - Jackson  Casey Jones Village
September 15th - Memphis  Doubletree Hotel / East Memphis
October 13th - Knoxville  Knoxville Convention Center
The Tennessee's Sustainable Tourism Initiative goal is to preserve and protect our state's unsurpassed natural beauty while encouraging the growth of Tennessee's tourism industry.

Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant Program  

Applications due on: August 23, 2010

Purpose: Support multijurisdictional planning efforts that integrate housing, land use, economic development and infrastructure investments in a manner that addresses challenges of economic competiveness, social equity, energy use and public health.

Awards are based on region size, up to $5 million for areas with more than 500,000 people.

For more information visit http://www.hud.gov/offices/adm/grants/nofa10/scrpg.cfm.

Community Challenge Planning Grants and TIGER II Planning Grants 

Applications due on: August 23, 2010 (Pre-Applications are due on July 26, 2010)
Two Grants: Community Challenge Planning Grants (housing) and TIGER II Planning Grants (transportation).

Purpose: Foster reform and reduce barriers to achieve affordable, economically vital and sustainably communities.  Intended for individual jurisdictions and localized planning. 

For the Community Challenge Grants, this includes master/comprehensive plans; local, corridor or district plans; revisions to zoning codes, building codes; strategies for affordable housing, land banks and related initiatives. 

For the Tiger II grants, this includes activities related to the planning or design of surface transportation projects including highways, bridges, transit, passenger and freight rail and port infrastructure.

Applicants - State and local governments, transit agencies, tribal governments, MPOs and other political subdivisions.

Awards - up to $3 million for each grant type.

Visit http://www.hud.gov/offices/adm/grants/nofa10/huddotnofa.cfm for more information.

Facts & Trends

Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies, Gatlinburg

Supporting the Value of Zoos and Aquariums

Zoological parks and aquariums are important components of Tennessee’s travel community, offering educational experiences intended to instill a greater respect for, and desire to protect wildlife. A three-year, nationwide study carried out by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) found that firsthand experience is the best way to create a lasting appreciation and respect for animals and marine life. 

According to a July 2009, Travelhorizons survey by U.S. Travel Association, domestic travelers rank zoo and aquarium visits very high on their list of interests while on leisure vacation.  The high interest in these attractions brings substantial value to our economy.  A January 2010 study by the AZA uncovered that zoos and aquariums were responsible for 126,000 American jobs and $8.4 billion in economic activity in 2009. 

Memphis Zoo

Travelers to Tennessee have noted that our state is the top destination for zoos and aquariums in America.  In 2009, the Memphis Zoo was named the most popular zoological park in America by TripAdvisor.com’s travelers and editors.  That same survey named Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies and the Tennessee Aquarium as the #1 and #2 aquariums in America.  Visitation numbers reported to the TN Department of Tourist Development amplify the state’s assets even further, revealing that four of the state’s top 10 attractions are zoos or aquariums. 


US Eliminates Paper Arrival/Departure Form
Travel from Korea on the Rise

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has announced the elimination of the paper arrival/departure form (Form I-94W) for authorized travelers from nations participating in the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). The new process will streamline secure travel for millions of visitors to the United States every year by consolidating the collection of traveler information and enhancing security by automatically providing DHS with important passenger information prior to departure.

Meanwhile, the Korea Times reports that the recent increase in travel from Korea to the U.S. can be attributed to the VWP.  "For many years, Korea was among the top five origin countries for visitors to the United States," said Thomas Donohue, President and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.  However, the logistical challenge of nearly all Korean applicants traveling to the U.S. Embassy in Seoul for a personal interview, along with the wait for visas, had a negative impact on the travel and tourism industry.   "Thanks to the Visa Waiver program, nearly 760,000 Korean citizens traveled to the United States last year, contributing close to $3 billion to the U.S. economy," Donohue said.

The article states that 36 countries participate in the VWP and that about two-thirds of all overseas visitors come from those countries.

Welcome Center

Debbie Lay

Welcome Center Employee of the Month

While in high school, Debbie Lay worked at the I-75 Campbell County (Jellico) Welcome Center during the summers of 1977-1979.  She even had the opportunity to travel to Canada with the staff to a trade show promoting Tennessee.

On May 1, 1985 Debbie began full-time employment with the department as a Welcome Center assistant at the very same Welcome Center.  Twenty-five years later she is still a dedicated employee who goes beyond the call of duty to help visitors and co-workers alike. 

Rick Parks, the center's manager believes with more employees like Debbie things would go much smoother.  One example is how she helped a couple of Canadian visitors who were stranded in Jellico for three days.  She assisted them in many ways until they were able to get their truck repaired and back on their way.  "She is real dedicated to her job", said Parks. While Parks and others praise the efforts of Debbie, she is as modest as she is helpful.  "I'm undeserving of such an honor yet excited," she stated.
Repeat visitors through the years remember Debbie and always ask for her, the lady with the long hair and ponytail.

Memphis and Million Dollar Quartet Take Home the Tony’s

Nominated for eight Tony Awards the musical Memphis brought home a prestigious four awards, including Best Musical. Other awards are Best Orchestrations, Best Original Score Written for Theatre and Best Book of a Musical. Memphis is an original story about the cultural-revolution that erupted when a young white disc jockey with a vision, meets an electrifying black singer, and the music world changed forever. It is an incredible journey to the ends of the airwaves—filled with laughter, soaring emotion and roof-raising rock ‘n’ roll.  The cast stars Tony nominee Montego Glover of Chattanooga and Chad Kimball, derrick Baskin, J. Bernard Calloway and James Monroe Iglehart, as well as Tony nominee Michael McGrath and Cass Morgan.


Oliver Springs, TN native Levi Kreis took home the Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical for his riveting portrayal of Jerry Lee Lewis in Million Dollar Quartet.  This smash hit musical inspired by the famed recording session that brought together rock ‘n’ roll icons Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins for the first and only time.  On Dec. 4, 1956, these four young musicians gathered at Sun Records in Memphis for what would be one of the greatest jam sessions ever.  This thrilling musical brings you inside the recording studio with four major talents who came together as a red-hot rock ‘n’ roll band for one unforgettable night.

Members of France’s 15th Calvary Brittany History Group and WWII Veterans Visit Middle Tennessee

Captain Robert "Bob" Hamsley

A delegation of French World War II veterans as well as members of France's 15th Calvary Brittany History Group spent two weeks in South Central and South West Tennessee recently. The group was hosted by tourism partners in Giles, Lawrence, Wayne, Lewis, Hardin, Williamson, Maury and Davidson Counties. The delegation also included visitors from Florida, South Dakota, Montana, Massachusetts, Virginia and Texas. The group arrived on May 31 and departed June 11.

While experiencing many of Middle Tennessee's special historical, cultural and regional attractions was important, the primary reason for the visit was to honor one of Tennessee's own, Captain Robert "Bob" Hamsley.

In 1944, Captain Hamsley was a tank commander in France. On August 6, he and his crew of 20 men and five tanks came into the town of Plelo France and, due to the quick action of Captain Hamsley, saved the town from total destruction by the enemy. This action also saved many lives across France as well, as many of the town's families and friends were members of the French Resistance working with British and American troops.

It took 46 years for the French Government to locate Mr. Hamsley. After doing so, the French Government awarded  Captain Hamsley the Legion of Honor, the highest medal offered in France and recommended Mr. Hamsley for the United States Medal of Honor.

In addition to honoring Captain Hamsley, Lawrencburg's Gail Hughes, tourism partner and tour organizer, believes the trip "helped generate good will between the countries and promote international travel."

Governor’s Environmental Stewardship Awards Recognize Positive Impacts Across the State

Patricia Gray and Lee Curtis of TN Tourism stand
with TDEC officials and others at the
awards ceremony

The 2010 Governor’s Environmental Stewardship Awards were presented by Department of Environment and Conservation Commissioner Jim Fyke and Deputy Commissioner Paul Sloan at the Ellington Agriculture Center campus in Nashville in late June.  The awards recognize 16 honorees whose efforts have made a positive impact on the state’s natural resources.  

“Protecting our environment ensures that our communities remain healthy and strong,” said Fyke.  “Today’s award ceremony honored those groups and individuals that have demonstrated true dedication in taking environmental stewardship to a new level.  I commend all of our honorees and encourage all Tennesseans to follow their example in preserving our natural resources.”    

In its 24th year, the Governor’s Environmental Stewardship Awards program recognizes exemplary voluntary actions that improve or protect our environment and natural resources with projects or initiatives that are not required by law or regulations. Thirteen awards were presented to individuals, community organizations and government agencies in a number of environmental categories.  
Tourism partners that received awards included
•    Greenways and Trails: City of Clarksville Greenways, Montgomery County
•    Natural Heritage: Friends of Warner Parks / Preservation of The Hill Forest, Davidson County
•    Parks and Recreation: A Sustainable Bonnaroo, Coffee County
•    Pollution Prevention: Chattanooga Green Lodging Certification Program, Hamilton County

For more information about the Governor’s Environmental Stewardship Awards program, please visit www.tn.gov/environment/awards/.  Additional information about this year’s recipients can be found at

Industry Applause

Dolly Parton Presents Book to Kumar Stewart

Industry Applause is designed to highlight and recognize the achievements of our industry partners.

Books Galore

Dolly Parton was on hand to present the 25 millionth book from her Imagination Library during the kickoff of KidsFest at Dollywood. Kumar Stewart of Birmingham, AL. accepts the milestone book with his family.

Bristol Unveils “Pick Bristol” Campaign

The Bristol Convention & Visitors Bureau launched a new “Pick Bristol” tourism initiative, which supports the cities’ brand as The Birthplace of Country Music. Key to the effort is pickbristol.com, a web site highlighting the current music scene in Bristol.

Peabody Hotel Rooftop, Memphis


Peabody Hotel’s Rooftop Voted Among Top  in the Country

The Peabody Hotel's rooftop bar was voted among the "Top 10 Roofdeck Bars" by Gadling, one of the world's leading travel blogs. The hotel's popular rooftop area, well known for hosting its’  rooftop parties, ranked among other rooftop bars in New York, Miami and Los Angeles. Gadling rated the top roof deck bars based on atmosphere, drinks and views.

Tennessee’s Council on Greenways and Trails Receives Award

The 2010 Recreational Trails Program Awards of Excellence were announced recently and the State of Tennessee won the Outstanding State Recreational Trails Advisory Committee Award. The Tennessee Commissioner's Council on Greenways and Trails is the RTP advisory committee and represents both motorized and non-motorized trail interests and user groups. An awards ceremony was held in Washington D.C.  

Pictured L to R: David Duncan, KTSC Chairman of
the Board; Gloria Ray, KTSC President & CEO;
Mike Ragsdale, Knox County Mayor

Gloria Ray Building Dedicated

One of Downtown Knoxville's most important civic facilities now bears the name of one of the area's most important civic leaders.  Knox County Mayor Mike Ragsdale and Commissioner Susan Whitaker dedicated the building housing the Knoxville Tourism & Sports Corporation (KTSC) as the Gloria Ray Building. Ray is the President and CEO of the KTSC.  She led the drive to plan and construct the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame and this year is an inductee.

TN Dept. of Environment and Conservation receives 2010 Kudos Marketing Piece Award

The Tennessee Dept of Environment and Conservation along with other NRPA national award recipients will be honored at the NRPA Congress in Minneapolis during the opening general session on October 25th, 2010.

Concrete Highway Recognized

One of the last untouched concrete sections of the original U.S. Highway 11 running through southeast Tennessee has been added to the National Register of Historic Places. The new U.S. 11 signs along what is also Market Street in Charleston were unveiled during the 50th anniversary celebration of "Wild River," the first movie filmed in Tennessee.  The highway is an important piece of history.

TDTD Staff at the Nashville Motor Speedway

Tennessee Tourism Staff promote destinations and activities at the Nashville Motor Speedway Event

During the NASCAR Nationwide Series event at the Nashville Motor Speedway, staff from the Tennessee Tourism Department were busy promoting the many destinations, events and attractions open for business.  It was a fun-filled day with race fans excited about more to do in the Nashville area and throughout Tennessee.

Tennessee Hospitality Association Names Greg Adkins as CEO
Greg Adkins, a veteran association executive with broad legislative experience, has been named chief executive officer of the Tennessee Hospitality Association. Adkins, who represents District 26 in Nashville and Davidson County’s Metropolitan Council, joins the lodging and restaurant group after serving as executive director of the Tennessee Public Transportation Association since 2007. In his new position, Adkins will oversee the day-to-day management and operations of THA and the Greater Nashville Hospitality Association. He will also be responsible for a comprehensive legislation program and for maintaining membership and recruitment. Adkins will assume his position July 14.

Quote of the Month:

"We must be free not because we claim freedom, but because we practice it."
- William Faulkner

Tennessee, The Stage is Set For You

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