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I love fall, the colors, the cooler air, the feeling of being rejuvenated as we move into a new season with Halloween, Thanksgiving and the Christmas season approaching.

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After having our all time best year in 2019 for tourism in DeKalb County, with an increase in lodging occupancy and tourists expenditures by 11.3 percent, 2020 has been a whole different story…but not all bad!

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In this time of Covid19 we had serious concerns about the loss of visitors traveling on vacations. In March and April, tourism worldwide came to a near shutdown, as stay at home orders were in place all around the world. In many cases, tourism is still at a 10-year low if the destination rel…

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As most of you know our visitor center was flooded on Easter evening April 12th. Our building is owned by the county and managed by the DeKalb County Commission, as are the other county-owned buildings.

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I know this has been an unusual year for all of us as we go through the COVID-19 pandemic. Most of our personal lives are impacted directly or indirectly by the virus. We have had to change our day-to-day personal lives to adapt to the changes necessary to try and stem the contagion. Most of…

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Buck’s Pocket Sate Park office and campground officially re-opened this last Monday, June 15, with a ribbon cutting and guest speakers.

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As most of you may know the DeKalb Tourism office and information/visitor center was flooded on Easter evening. We lost nearly all content, including travel guides, computer systems and furniture.

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Twenty-eight million tourists spent a record $16.8 billion while vacationing in Alabama in 2019, the Alabama Tourism Department reports, crediting the arrival of more than a million additional guests who spent a billion dollars more than tourists the previous year.

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On the night of April 12th 2020 our Visitor/information Center and our offices were flooded and nearly all content was destroyed, including furniture, computer systems, phone systems and prior printed documents, including a majority of our brochures and travel guides.

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In accordance with the office of the Governor and the state of Alabama Department of Travel and Tourism, we have suspended actively promoting travel statewide. We, in accordance with state law, support “Stay at Home” orders.

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DeKalb Tourism is following all Alabama state guidelines for COVID-19. Our visitor Center in Fort Payne is closed as are the state interstate welcome centers.

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Tourism is critical to the economy of Fort Payne and throughout DeKalb County. Tourism is and will be impacted over the next number of weeks as we diligently exercise every precaution to slow down the spread of Corona virus (COVID-19) and ultimately allow it to run its course.

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In the last several weeks the Coronavirus has been at the top of the news with stock markets and travel being negatively impacted.

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Those of us who make our livings as Destination Marketers have schedules very different from our tourists. Here in our area, visitors on vacation come primarily in the spring through fall. Our top months for tourists are June, July, October and November and our lightest ones are January and …

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In this day of totally automatic cameras that take good looking pictures without working hard for them, could also be the reason for a lot of bad photographs.

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Using some basic tourism headcount formulas for special events, here are the numbers I came up with. Keep in mind these have a plus/minus variance of 15%.

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If you think there is nothing to do or see in DeKalb County, I’d like to invite you into our world here at DeKalb Tourism. There is so much going on here all the time that our problem is one of making sure we can keep up with the constant on slot of information about dates and times and wher…

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We are a progressive organization, Promoting Tourism & Travel and encouraging Economic Development. We are working to present a greater awareness of our region’s natural scenic attractions, businesses and unique accommodations. Join us in partnership and help make DeKalb County and Looko…

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September is an interesting month; summer is sort of over, but not officially until September 20th. We still have some hot days potentially, but more of them seem pleasant. School has started, football has started, it's too early for fall color, and so, what is September?

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Most of our tourists come from within a 200 mile radius of us. In our case, that is 11 million people potentially. We are nearly 100% a “drive to” location.

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It is that time again for the World’s Longest Yard Sale. Now completing its third decade (32th year) the World’s Longest Yard Sale (WLYS) has become one of the largest attractors of visitors each year to every community along its 700-plus mile route from Gadsden Alabama to Hudson Michigan. P…

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OK, so I am not from here and it took a good chunk of my life to get here. The truth is I had never visited the state of Alabama other than to pass through it until Eastman Kodak offered me a great promotion to become the General Manager of an Eastman Kodak division in Birmingham.

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Our county-wide Making Alabama traveling exhibit is now over. As of Monday, July 1 it was transported to Moulton in Lawrence County for their opportunity to have this wonderful Alabama Bicentennial exhibit.

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So perhaps you grew up here and do not spend a lot of time analyzing our area from the perspective of our visitors. The tendency of people who are born and raised in an area is to take for granite the very things that people are taking their vacations to come see.

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Every June, a weekend is dedicated as Fan Appreciation weekend by the Country Music Hall of Fame group and local Fort Payne legends, Alabama. This weekend is even more special as Alabama celebrates their 50th anniversary. They are on their 50th anniversary tour all year.

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Travelers spent $90 million and were responsible for 1,104 jobs last year in DeKalb County, according to a report conducted for the Alabama Tourism Department by Montgomery economist Dr. Keivan Deravi. That figure represents a 4.6% increase in traveler spending from the prior year on hotels,…

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We are in the process of our Alabama 200 Bicentennial celebration all this year. In 1819, Alabama sent a delegation to Washington to apply for statehood to became a state and on December 14th our U.S. Congress voted in favor of statehood. At that time Alabama became our 22nd state.

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For a scenic shopping experience, visitors can take the back roads through the Appalachia region for a shop ‘til you drop experience. Set for May 16-19, 2019, the US 11 Antique Alley Yard Sale offers 502 miles of roadside sales from Meridian, Miss. through DeKalb County, and ending in Bristo…

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Good Morning Fort Payne friends and visitors from Fort Payne Main Street. I feel blessed to live in this beautiful area with all the natural resources we enjoy. We have several events happening soon.

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Our area has been a leisure tourism destination for more than 100 years. The beauty of our area, the parks, the waterfalls, the mountains and pleasant valley views have all contributed to the desire for people to come here and relax. With that, desire a tourism business grew up around it. Su…

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One of my all time favorite towns in wonderful and beautiful DeKalb County is Collinsville. Mayor Johnny Traffenstedt and former Mayor Jimmy Carter and their City Councils have worked tirelessly with the local community and a number of local organizations to dramatically improve downtown Col…

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The Southeast Tourism Society is the foremost multi-state tourism promotion and educational resource in the southeast. This organization covers twelve states in the southeast. They are well known nationally as one of the best organizations in our industry for providing its member organizatio…

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Our area has been a leisure tourism destination for more than 100 years. The beauty of our area, the parks, the waterfalls, the mountains and pleasant valley views have all contributed to the desire for people to come here and relax. With that desire, a tourism business grew up around it. Su…

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Litter hurts all of us. It is unhealthy, unsightly and hurts tourism and overall economic development. Maybe you don’t think about litter and perhaps you have become blind to it. Next time you drive around town or on a county road, have a look. Think about our roadsides, what do you see? If …

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Spring is close, daffodils are blooming, rivers are racing, ponds are overflowing, and despite record rain, we are already getting visitors coming in fairly large numbers to our parks, to Mentone and throughout the county to enjoy mild temperatures, slightly longer days and that first feelin…

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In the tourism industry, networking and relationship building is everything. Our industry consists of several primary organizations that interweave responsibilities with volunteerism, networking and cross promotion. DeKalb Tourism is a small non-profit legislated by the state as the official…

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It is cold, wet, perhaps snowy and probably cloudy and miserable outside. It is at this time of year in those more northern locations that some major cities host their own travel and sports extravaganzas in their civic centers, fairgrounds or other large convention halls.

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Happy New Year everyone, and welcome to the official 200th birthday year of our great state. The Alabama Department of Travel and Tourism is the official state agency managing our Alabama Bicentennial. Under their department, the Alabama Bicentennial Commission was formed to develop and mana…

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In 2017, tourists spent over 85 million dollars in DeKalb County. In order to be a visitor/tourist by definition, you must live 50 or more miles away from your destination and the money you will be spending will be delivered into an economy that is not the one you live in. In order to be inc…

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We are very fortunate in North Alabama to have Alabama’s largest and strongest regional tourism organization working to support our efforts in DeKalb County, Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourist Association (AMLA). AMLA was founded in 1964 through an act of legislation that provides a small percen…

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Some people love every minute of this season. From Thanksgiving to Christmas it is fun with family and friends, it is special decorations, lots of home cooked food and baked items, football, seasonal music and movies. The children and grand children are playing joyfully. They are living in t…

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On behalf of a personal desire, DeKalb Tourism and the DeKalb County Commission, along with the support and help of Leadership DeKalb and Jennifer McCurdy at the Fort Payne Chamber, myself along with Leadership DeKalb volunteers will be teaching a Litter Education program to all 4th graders …

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We finally have some pretty nice fall color. Our color is about two weeks later than usual. Cold nights with sunny days are the trigger for the trees to begin their descent into dormancy.

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Fall has become the second largest tourist season for us. June and July are still number one, but over the last decade, our growth in tourists from mid September through mid November has increased at a more rapid rate.

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F all is here, trees are getting colorful and that all means it is time for the annual Mentone Colorfest. Next weekend, as has been the case for more than 35 years, our quaint mountain village of Mentone comes alive with a full weekend of festivities.

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Last week, Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourist Association (AMLA) held its annual tourism conference and awards banquet. AMLA is a regional tourism organization that was founded in 1964 to promote tourism in the northern sixteen counties of Alabama. They are funded via membership and by a legisla…

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Country Roads! Do I need to say anything else to spark some memories? Those of you who are from the Great Generation or are Baby Boomers your minds will start their way down some old dirt road, past the farms and pastures with car windows down, dust flying up…no traffic; wildflowers lining t…

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It is almost here. Next Friday and Saturday we will celebrate our 13th annual Fort Payne Boom Days Heritage Celebration in historic downtown Fort Payne.

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School is now two and a half weeks old, and it is time to do something different this weekend. We have just the thing for you; Fyffe UFO Day is here, this Saturday August 25th. The gates open at 9 a.m. for a day of fun celebrating the nearly 200 UFO reports seen in Fyffe in 1989.

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All of a sudden, seemingly without warning, the streets seem empty, the parks are quiet, the hotels have fewer guests and the bustle of summer tourism has come to a screeching halt. The World’s Longest Yard Sale is over and school has begun, way too early in the opinion of someone who enjoye…