Graceland anoints 'first king' of Elvis Pretenders
Managers of Elvis Presley's Graceland anointed their first "Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist," ending a worldwide search for a Presley pretender to wear their official crown. The new make-believe King is Shawn Klush, a 38-year-old Elvis impersonator from Pittston, PA. "It's unbelievable," Klush said of the victory. "It's an overwhelming experience, and it couldn't be in a better place." Klush was chosen at a concert hall in downtown Memphis in the championship round of a series of tribute contests held around the world.
The Peabody Hotel, Memphis
Elvis honored on Duck Walk
As part of the annual Elvis Week celebration in Memphis, The Peabody Hotel inducted Elvis Presley into the Duck Walk Hall of Fame. Priscilla Presley accepted the induction on behalf of her ex-husband. Commemorative plaques feature bronze duck footprints with the name of the inductee. The Duck Walk is located along Union Avenue and Second Street in the sidewalk outside The Peabody Hotel.
Chickamauga District added to National Register
The Chickamauga Historic District was added to the National Register, a national list of properties in the U.S. that are worthy of preserving. The listing fits into the city's push to promote heritage tourism.
Ober Gatlinburg is Tops
TripAdvisor®, the world's largest travel community, announced the top 10 amusement parks in the U.S., according to traveler popularity and TripAdvisor editors. Ober Gatlinburg Ski Resort and Amusement Park ranked no. 8. An amazing scenic aerial tramway up to Ober Gatlinburg gets visitors started in style, Ober Gatlinburg Ski Resort and Amusement Park gives patrons everything: skiing, indoor skating, restaurants, an alpine slide, a pirate ship and fun house, go-karts, mini golf, a shooting range, water raft rides and a black bear habitat.
Preserve America Taps Blount County
Blount County has been named a Preserve America Community, one of only a few hundred in the U.S. and the fifth community and only county with the designation in Tennessee. Herb Handly, executive vice president of tourism for the Smoky Mountain Convention and Visitors Bureau, said “It’s a national program and puts us in a national light and it can be used as leverage to pursue other programs.”
The Hermitage, Nashville
Tourism Cares Makes Restoration Grant
Tourism Cares has awarded The Hermitage, home and farm of General Andrew Jackson, a prestigious restoration grant. The award provides funding to restore the home of President Jackson in order to help keep that heritage alive for future generations of visitors to this popular Nashville attraction. Tourism Cares distributes grants to worthy nonprofit organizations around the world in an effort to sustain their history and culture.
Nashville listed among 10 Best Cities For African-Americans
Nashville continues on Black Enterprise’s Top 10 Cities for African-Americans. The 2007 ranking offers some major changes and repositioning in comparison to the 2001 and 2004 lists, however Nashville remains. Nashville, among other cities, promises a trove of business, professional and personal opportunities.
Rep. Jimmy Eldridge, Commissioner
Susan Whitaker, Mary Beth Hopper
and Henry Harrison
Southwest Tennessee Tourism Association elects new officers
The Tourism Association of Southwest Tennessee recently elected its 2007-2008 Executive Committee and Board of Directors at the organization’s annual meeting held at the International Rock-a-Billy Hall of Fame.
The new chairperson for the coming year is Tanya Irwin-Race Director for the Pickwick Challenge powerboat races, Vice Chair Deborah Shaw Laman-marketing director for Brooks Shaw's Old Country Store and Casey Jones Village, Secretary-O'Neal Odhav of Country Inn & Suites and Treasurer-Tony Altman with Chickasaw Chalet.
The meeting was held in conjunction with Commissioner Susan Whitaker's visit to present the 2007-2008 marketing campaign for the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development and the annual International Rock-a-Billy Festival.
USA Southeast Tourism Pick Top September Events (TravelVideo TV)
Tennessee events include: Sept. 2, Boomsday, Live entertainment, food, and fun and games on the Tennessee River in a Labor Day celebration with the largest fireworks show in the US. Knoxville, TN., Sept. 7 - 16; Tennessee Valley Fair, daily headliner entertainment, agriculture & livestock exhibits, great fair food, rides and attractions make for a good time for all at the fair.
World Tourism Day
TIA invites the tourism industry to join cities, states and nations around the globe in saluting World Tourism Day on September 27, 2007. This special day was developed by the U.N. World Tourism Organization to share the power of travel and engage local audiences on the unique role of travel and tourism.
Tennessee, The Stage is Set For You