St. Louis Attractions Association Celebrates 25th Year in Business
This group brings together St. Louis' major attractions with those who serve the tourism industry.
Happy, happy 25th birthday to the St. Louis Attractions Association. The association celebrated in grand splendor with a very nice luncheon on the 20th floor in the Crystal Ballroom of the beautiful and functional Renaissance Grand Hotel in downtown St. Louis.
The usual box lunches gave way to a more formal chicken and all the trimmings luncheon. A room full of past and present members gathered to break bread and toast 25 years worth of presidents who led this organization. Fifteen of the past 25 presidents presided in a lively after-lunch roundtable discussion.
Bill Kay, a vice president at the public relations firm Black Twig brought the luncheon to my attention. In my former life, I was the public relations director at the now defunct International Bowling Museum & Cardinals Hall of Fame, a hop, skip and a jump from the old Busch Stadium.
Some of my duties called for being a member of the St. Louis Attractions Association. I’m glad I did.
As board members cited, the No. 1 reason people join SLAA is to network with similar people in the travel and tourism industry.
Special thanks go to Carole Moody, the very first president way back in 1987 and founder of the organization. Moody,who rose through the ranks to finally run the St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission had zero tolerance for any negative things said about her home town. It was root, root, root for the home team all the day long.
The past presidents were valuable assets to this meeting. For younger members in attendance (there were many fresh eager faces at the tables) hearing from the pro’s meant a lot.
Here’s sampler of some of those concoctions from former leaders:
Karen Krispin from the St. Louis CVC:
“We support all the big events in town, tours, parades, auctions, everything.”
Sherri Cliffe, Cliff Edge Marketing
“We were wasting money when I was president. We didn’t have a tax-exempt status. When we booked a place for a meeting (like this hotel) or rented tables and chairs we were paying taxes on everything. We changed that.”
Julie Kruempel, St. Louis Arch “We blended attractions and allied together into one working network.”
Julie Krull, St. Louis Symphony
“When I was president we established a real education program. We taught people how to partner on projects and events to get things done.”
Tami Goldman, St. Louis History Museum
“When I was president we were going through tough economic times. We helped people to become tourists in their own town.”
This really was a special “dress up” event for the Attractions Association. Mayor Francis Slay declared the day “St. Louis Attractions Day,” handing over a very large framed proclamation to the association president Francis Percich, of Jones Lang Lasalle/St. Louis Union Station.