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Council decision hurts Harrison County

I decided to wait a couple of weeks before I reacted to the Harrison County Council’s decision to freeze the second part of the CVB budget. I wanted to gather information to make sure I wouldn’t overreact. On the surface this looks like a council that is out of touch with this community as well as what is best for Harrison County. I am not sure what set this in motion, but it sounds like the council is upset about something and this is the reaction that came from it.
My wife, Sarah, and I moved from northern Indiana to build a business, not only for what’s best for our family but a business that would be put into a community that would support us and allow us to grow. We felt that Harrison County/Corydon was that perfect fit. The potential for this town to become one of the best areas in the Midwest is obvious. We have dedicated ourselves to running a business that we can all be proud of. We also have decided to get involved as much as possible with this community.
One of the organizations I have become associated with is the tourism board committee. I have been impressed since Day One with the CVB. I am amazed that a small community has people like Sean Hawkins, Nicole Twigg, Sherry Watson, Stacy Zehnder and Jim Epperson, who have vision and determination to make this county achieve all the potential that it can. They see the same potential that I see which made Corydon the perfect fit for us.
The decision to freeze funding sends the wrong message and could set Corydon and Harrison County back years. Bringing people from outside the immediate area is the best way for a community to grow. Industry comes and goes, as we have all seen from Keller to Tower. People are looking for ways to spend time and money away from home. Our three busiest days of 2005 were during the two car shows and the dog show at the fairgrounds. The car shows are promoted through the CVB Web site as well as the literature that was produced for this summer promotion.
The common denominator is obvious: there was a reason for people outside this county to come into this county, and we as a Harrison County business benefited from it. I met people from all over the country during the dog show. They stayed at the Holiday Inn Express next door and walked over to our restaurant for, in some cases, lunch and dinner both days.
Another example happened during Art on the Square when I met a family from Louisville. The couple and their three young daughters stayed in a hotel, visited the caves, went to Art on the Square, and ate at our restaurant. They found out about the festival through the CVB website and promised us that they would be back.
The bottom line is that tourism is the driving force for most communities, and the CVB has proved to me that their promotion works here in Harrison County.
Hopefully, the council will reverse this decision quickly. I don’t know all of what went into this decision, but I do know that this is the wrong direction for this county. The CVB staff takes pride in what they do. They have vision and, speaking from experience, drive visitors into our community and through business doors. If we lose the CVB, another community will benefit from their vision. We employ 50 people from Harrison County and cannot afford to see a poor decision affect the potential to be a destination stop for people in the Midwest as well as throughout the country.
Frank and Sarah Spanopoulos own and operate Culver’s of Corydon.