Calitri reports: Owensboro bidding for GeoWoodstock 2021
Owensboro’s tourism industry — hotels, restaurants, entertainment venues, gas stations and retail — is reeling from the coronavirus pandemic.
Millions of dollars worth of business has been lost this spring.
But the Owensboro-Daviess County Convention & Visitors Bureau is hoping to land a major event for Memorial Day weekend in 2021 that would pump an estimated $800,000 back into the community in a single week.
The CVB is bidding to host GeoWoodstock XIX, the world’s largest geocaching festival.
It expects to learn in August if the bid is successful.
Margaret Bedilion is director of sales at Stay, Play, Made Simple, a West Chester, Ohio, company that provides housing for tournaments and major events.
She will handle housing in Owensboro if the city wins the bid.
ROMP Kentucky music festival postponed indefinitely
Add another cancellation to the coronavirus pandemic.
The 17th annual ROMP bluegrass festival at Yellow Creek Park, which was expected to bring more than 25,000 people to town in June, has been postponed indefinitely.
But Chris Joslin, executive director of the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum, which produces the festival, said he’s hoping ROMP can be rescheduled for later in the year.
The lineup was to have included Chris Thile’s American Public Media show “Live from Here,” Bruce Hornsby & The Noisemakers, The Devil Makes Three, Sam Bush, We Banjo 3, Mandolin Orange, Dan Tyminski, Town Mountain, Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper (winners of the 2020 Grammy for Best Bluegrass Album), Balsam Range, Front Country, Trout Steak Revival, Blue Highway, The Price Sisters and Giri & Uma Peters.
Mark Calitri, president of the Owensboro-Daviess County Convention & Visitors Bureau, said. “Bluegrass music is a major part of our identity and ROMP is how many visitors experience Owensboro and Daviess County initially. It’s an important gateway to discovering all that we have to offer as a community.”
He said the Hall of Fame “is a vital tourism partner and Visit Owensboro will do all we can to support ROMP to ensure this signature event remains strong for our area.”
Calitri keeping positive outlook during Covid-19 pandemic
This column was submitted by Mark Calitri, President & CEO of the Owensboro Convention and Visitors Bureau.
During uncertain times, one thing is definite. We will be better as a result of these crises. Everyone loves a comeback story, and Owensboro will come back better than ever. We’ve been the underdog before, and we thrive in that role.
As the virus continues to evolve, our local small businesses, along with the hospitality and restaurant industry, have taken the hardest hit financially. Everyone in our community is affected by this novel virus.
But one thing I’ve learned since moving to Owensboro a couple of years ago is this city’s strongest asset is our people. I’ve never seen people come together in such a way to benefit the common good more than they have during this pandemic.
Think about it. When you’re on walks with your family, have you ever seen so many people smile and wave? What about the community help fund — made possible by a collaboration of several organizations — that’s now over $600,000 going directly to benefit those who need it most during this difficult time? All of the distilleries making hand sanitizer and individuals sewing cloth masks? Those drive-thru or carry out workers risking their health to feed your family?
I want to be clear. The entire tourism industry is in uncharted territory. Experts say this will affect our business seven times worse than 9/11. We’re hurting. The hardest part is we don’t know when we will be able to open back up.
The important thing is we will reopen. We are rescheduling. We are rebooking. We are aggressively pursuing new events. We’re doing more with less in our marketing efforts. We will be ready to welcome back our visitors.
We are believers in partnerships and the power of collaboration. Together, Owensboro will weather this crisis and build a stronger economic future.
Visit Owensboro is the official destination marketing organization for Owensboro and Daviess County Kentucky. www.visitowensboro.com Mark Calitri serves as President/CEO.