Source: The Corydon Democrat

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Epperson leaves CVB in good shape
My Opinion

by Ross Schulz

October 01, 2013

After more than a decade of calling downtown Corydon his home away from home, now former Harrison County Convention & Visitors Bureau executive director Jim Epperson has officially moved east to take the same position at The Sunny Side of Louisville.

He left the HCCVB in good hands with Jeremy Yackle, who has been with the CVB as assistant director since 2007, taking over the position in the interim.

Under Epperson's leadership, the CVB helped create events such as Bluegrass on the Square and Cockadoodle Days (now SummerFest).

The free Bluegrass on the Square concerts, which take place the fourth Saturday of June, July and August, have included acts from Louisville as well places like Virginia. The public takes advantage of, and appreciates the event, as anyone who drives through Corydon on Bluegrass Saturdays can tell by the lawnchairs that fill the grassy area and beyond surrounding the Hurley D. Conrad Memorial Bandstand.

SummerFest, now in its 11th year, drew in about 6,000 people last summer and includes a Harrison County staple truck and tractor pulling presented by title sponsor Lucas Oil Products.

Epperson and the CVB also play a role in the functionality and growth of the Battle of Corydon re-enactment, which saw its largest weekend show this summer in honor of the Battle's 150th anniversary.

Epperson understood that Harrison County is, and always will be, an agricultural county and partnered with farmers who were interested in agriculture tourism or business, such as Deere Farms near Lanesville.

Deere Farms is now in its sixth year of agri-tourism welcoming visitors to a corn maze, pumpkin patch, 5K run and all kinds of other fall fun activities.

Under Epperson, the CVB also launched a mobile site to help inform residents and visitors alike or happenings within the county.

While all of these aspects of tourism in the county aren't highly visible, one of the most important tasks the CVB completes is marketing the area's events and businesses outside of the county, throughout the state and region.

Judging by the amount of advertising in brochures and magazines passed around at CVB tourism commission meetings, I'd say Epperson and the employees have done an excellent job spreading the word about the events and attractions in the county.

With the riverboat era, the CVB saw a significant increase in funding and much of the CVB's plan centered around using the budget to market the county the best it could. Epperson, who was a major component of that effort, said the goal of the CVB is to make Harrison County a destination spot.

Epperson's long history in tourism will serve him well in his new post, working to promote Floyd and Clark counties tourism.

Epperson spent 1994 to 2002 in Ohio tourism and a short stay with a Rhode Island tourism group before beginning in Harrison County.

But he was no stranger to Southern Indiana. He was raised in New Albany and worked right out of high school at the Henryville rest area along Interstate 64 for The Sunny Side of Louisville. Also, he and his wife, Sandy, have occasionally volunteered with Sunny Side.

Epperson leaves his mark in the county by helping tourism flourish. The CVB is in good shape to continue to do so.