Finally! Finally it seems as if fall weather is upon us and I am so thankful. Fall and spring are my favorite seasons. While the other two are a part of our life cycle, I thoroughly enjoy 65-degree temperatures. Now if my favorite Tennessee Volunteers football team could get it together, this would be a perfect fall season!
Don’t forget that the United Way Good Neighbor Radio Auction is underway. Make sure to tune in for the next three weeks, and especially this Friday, when Stephanie Harcleroad and myself will be auctioneers. Remember, all of the money raised at the Radio Auction stays right here in Benton County and benefits 18 different agencies!
Join us Thursday, Oct. 11, at the new LiBY Center (Lotus in Bloom Yoga Center) at 11 a.m. for their ribbon cutting. We can’t wait to see their new facility at 153 Washington Ave. in Camden.
Also on Thursday is Family Game Night at the Benton County Library. Bring your favorite board games for a night of family fun from 5-7 p.m. For more information, call 731-584-4772.
From 7-10 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 13, the Lions Club will host their famous Pancake Breakfast at the CHS cafeteria. For only $5, eat all the pancakes you can!
Sunday, Oct. 14, is the free movie event at Birdsong Drive-In. The event begins at 4 p.m. with live Christian music and the youth dance team from The Well in Hurricane Mills. The movie War Room will begin at dusk. Admission is free and concessions are available for purchase. For more information, call 731-584-8787.
Tuesday, Oct. 16, will be “Terrifying Tuesday” at the Benton County Library. Bring the family for this movie night featuring It beginning at 5:30 pm. Call 731-584-4772 for more information.
Are you ready to run? The annual Pilot Knob 10K race is upon us! The race will take place on Saturday, Oct. 20. For more information or to register, call the NBF State Park office at 731-584-6356.
In this week’s Chamber Spotlight, I want to highlight what tourism does for Benton County. I am always so excited to tell visitors about all that Benton County has to offer.
While in Kingsport at the Governor’s Conference on Hospitality and Tourism recently, the State Tourist Development Department gave each county representative our “County Snapshot.” The snapshot shows the economic impact of tourism in each area.
In 2017, Benton County ranked 48 of 95 counties and generated $27.14 million in direct tourism expenditures, a 6.4 percent increase over 2016. Benton County produced $4.54 million in payroll, a 7.2 percent increase over 2016.
Now, here are my favorite numbers of all! In 2017, Benton County generated $2.91 million is local tax revenue, a 5.1 percent increase, and generated $1.68 million in state tax revenue, a 4.5 percent increase over 2016! In other words, if it were not for state and local taxes generated by tourism, each Benton County household would pay $676.39 more in taxes. The bottom line – local tourism saves money for each Benton County resident.
Y’all, these are numbers that should make us all proud! I am proud to promote my county to our outside visitors, and I am proud of this community for showing such wonderful hospitality!