Saturday, September 30, 2006

tourism blogs: thoughts from Louisville

I just got back from a road trip to Louisville, Kentucky. My wife had to go there on business for her company.

I fell madly in love with the city as soon as we pulled in, on a nerve wracking 6 lane highway. Louisville has amazing French architecture, a gigantic baseball bat poking up out of the ground, and a Judicial Building with huge glass windows that look out over the Ohio river. (We had legal business to conduct for her company).

We stayed at a Mariott Springhills Suite hotel, which was terrific, very classy place. Memorable meals included a dinner at Applebys (a new burger with pesto sauce rocked my tastebuds) and lunch at a Russian Jewish immigrant restaurant, called Gavi's, where I had a killer Reuben sandwich.

I'm going to email Gavi's and tell them how we loved their food and the friendly service. My wife Andrea talked to the lady owner for quite a while, which is uncharacteristic of her. She said the owner arrived in America with only 2 dresses, no English, and no friends. Now she and her family have a successful restaurant in the heart of downtown Louisville, started in 1982.

As a hardcore blogger, I relate everything to the blogosphere.

So I got to thinking about how a Visitors Bureau and Tourism Blog could work for a city and those new to the community, whether visitors or new settlers. The blog could helped visitors navigate the area, become familiar with the history and dominant industries, include a FAQ or a discussion forum. It could also be used to attract new businesses to the city.

Anecdotes could be used to add color to a city. For example, the night we left Louisville, there was going to be a concert by the Rolling Stones and Alice Cooper. The judge in the Judicial Building told us the large law firms provide an attorney and a judge "on call" for big acts, in case there's "trouble".

Once, during a John Cougar Mellencamp concert, he was the judge on call. In the middle of the concert, he was notified that he was needed. He wondered what happened. Turns out, he officiated at Mellecamp's wedding ceremony. The judge said he's probably the only judge around that officiated at a wedding in front of 49,000 people.

I'm still pondering, but once I work out the strategy and focus of a Visitors Bureau and Tourism Blog, I'll post about it.

Visiting a new area of your state or country is a good way to refresh and expand your mental horizons.

Me holding a strange seed pod of a tree in downtown Louisville. There were a few of these trees, that had nets suspended under the bottom branches, to catch these pods, and keep them from covering the sidewalks. Notice how the stem resembles some kind of Indian rattle, but it's natural formation, not man made.

The strange seed pod tree was close to this Medal of Honor statue.


Kathryn said...

my husband is from kentucky.

Humour and last laugh said...

hope you are having a good time.

carrie said...

i'm pretty sure that was a magnolia tree/seedpod

carrie said...

oh yeah, and i love me a good reuben!

steven edward streight said...

kathryn: your husband is a lucky man, and so am I, according to my wife, and my favorite color is whatever Andrea says it is. I was BORN in Ft. Knox, Kentucky, but moved to Champaigne Illinois USA when I was a baby. I was delivered by an Army Colonel.

I love Kentucky. I love bluegrass music and banjoes and rolling hills. The banjo is one of the most stirring stringed instruments. I like how it's used in "Mrs. Brown You've Got a Lovely Daughter" by Herman's Hermits. Banjoes processed with Alesis Midiverb would blow away anything Jimi Hendrix or Steve Vai ever did.

Reuben, sally? Nay, she said, I mayo not like the Thousand Island.