At the Natchitoches Historic District Development Commission’s April 18 meeting, David Stamey said he will complete the Commission’s proposed budget in the next 30 days. It will be introduced at their May meeting and voted on at their June meeting, with their fiscal year beginning July 1.
Their goal when considering event sponsorships is more “heads in beds.” They’re looking for events that will bring people to Natchitoches for overnight stays.
They sponsored the American College Dance Association South Regional Conference, which was held at Northwestern State University April 4-7. They’re currently considering sponsorships for three Southland Conference Championships NSU will host next year. These include volleyball, softball and track and field, which alone brings in 12 women’s teams and 11 men’s teams.
“These people tend to adopt Natchitoches as their road trip,” said Stamey.
The NHDDC also recently sponsored several ads on louisianatravel.com. The ads feature the Cane River National Heritage Area (CRNHA), the Cane River Creole National Historical Parks (CRCNHP), Fort St. Jean Baptiste, Los Adaes State Historic Site and the Grand Ecore Visitors Center. The digital ads link back to the CRNHA website, which has a section titled “Explore Cane River” that links visitors to websites and information for all the attractions.
While the average response rates for these types of ads is around 31%, CRNHA Director of Communications Rebecca Blankenbaker said their rate is at 47%. CRCNHP Superintendent Carrie Mardorf said visitation at the parks increased 12% last year.
There’s also a possible event sponsor partnership between the City and the NHDDC that City Rep Edd Lee proposed at Wednesday’s meeting. Fishing University is a program on the Outdoor Channel that is interested in filming an episode in Natchitoches highlighting local high school fishing teams.
Upcoming dates for Natchitoches events include:
NSU Freshman Connection Overnight Sessions May 24-25, May 31-June 1, June 20-21, and a one-day session on July 10. Any one of these sessions can bring in around 800 people, which includes potential students and their parents.
The Historic District Business Association will hold its annual Girls Getaway weekend in June. More details will be announced at a later date.
The HDBA’s annual car show (Sept. 28-29) opened up the year for car entries from 1979 to 1988, which it’s expected, will bring in about 150 more cars. Organizers are looking at using Second Street, Touline, Front Street and the riverbank.
National Parks Week begins April 21 and the Cane River Creole National Historical Park system is partnering with the CRNHA to hold a Find Your Park Festival Saturday, April 21 from 10 am – 3 pm at Oakland Plantation (Free to the public).
Bike Natchitoches will hold its 5th Annual Cane River Plantation Ride May 5 beginning at 8:15 am at Oakland Plantation. For more information go online to www.bikenatchitoches.org.
National Tourism Week begins May 7 and the Natchitoches Area Convention and Visitors Bureau will hold a Tourism Week Celebration with Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser Monday, May 7 at 2:30 pm at the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and Northwest Louisiana History Museum.
The CRNHA will kick off its new Coffee Chat series April 28 at 10 am at the Grand Ecore Visitors Center with a talk on its current “War on the Red” exhibit.
The Natchitoches Historic Foundation will host its Annual Membership Gala May 8.
The next Chamber luncheon will be held May 9 and will feature a panel of locals who will speak to the community on the importance of tourism. They are NACVB Director Arlene Gould, Tax Commission Administrator Jerry McWherter and Sharpco Hotel Rep Lauryn Sharplin.
The Chamber will hold a Bed&Breakfast Round Table May 30, an Academic Scholars Banquet May 8, and a Legislative Issues Luncheon June 30.