Governor’s Report: tourism by the numbers III

September 23, 2007

This is the last call on stats from the 2007-2008 Governor’s Conference Report issued by the Tennessee Department of Tourism Development. I promise.

Top 10 Tennessee Attractions

These numbers come from the attractions themselves and have not been verified. Two big players–Graceland and the Nashville Motor Speedway–got uppity and didn’t report anything.

1. Dollywood

2. Bristol Motor Speedway

3. Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies in Gatlinburg

4. Memphis Zoo

5. Ober Gatlinburg

6. Grand Ole Opry House and Opry Museum

7. Tennessee Aquarium

8. Casey Jones Village in Jackson–this is the only one on this list with free admission

9. Loretta Lynn’s Ranch in Hurrican Mills

10. Memphis Motorsports Park

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Governor’s Report: tourism by the numbers II

September 23, 2007

The stats just keep coming from the 2007-2008 Governor’s Conference Report issued by the Tennessee Department of Tourism Development. Here, in no particular order, are some stats that I found interesting:

2006 State of Origin for Visitors to Tennessee

1. Tennessee

2. Georgia

3. Kentucky

4. Alabama

5. Virginia

6. Mississippi

7. North Carolina

8. Ohio

9. Indiana

10. Florida

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Resquiat in Pace Marcel Marceau

September 23, 2007

NPR brought the sad news this morning that Marcel Marceau has died at the age of 84. When I was a journalism school undergraduate at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, a father-son pair named Ralph and Robert Frost booked Marcel Marceau into Knoxville’s Civic Auditorium. I requested an interview with him, and to my astonishment my request was granted. Seems that no other media outlet in town even asked.

I met Marceau in the Hyatt House, where he was staying, and he was very generous with his time with me, even though I was writing for a student newspaper, the Daily Beacon. I interviewed him several years later when I was a freelance writer, when he saved my social neck. Therein lies a tale.

Yours truly and Marcel Marceau

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Lost Sea shrinking, but all is not lost

September 23, 2007

Nice piece in today’s Knoxville News Sentinel about Sweetwater’s Lost Sea. Although a long drought in the area has caused the underground lake level to drop to a level 20 feet below normal, the lowered waterline has revealed portions of the cavern never seen before by visitors.

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