Tue July 09, 2024

By April Lovette


Hope Tourism plans for Watermelon Festival and more

Hope Tourism Hope Advertising & Tourist Promotion Commission
Hope Tourism plans for Watermelon Festival and more
The Hope Advertising & Tourist Promotion Commission met for their July meeting tonight in the Hope City Boardroom and members discussed the organization's contributions to the upcoming Watermelon Festival. Tourism Secretary/Parks Director Summer Chambers said in previous years the commission had pledged $4000 prize money to the adult softball tournament and $500 to the cornhole tournament. She suggested they do the same this year and asked if they wanted to also pledge prize money for the new soccer tournaments. After a brief discussion of tournament costs, possible profit or loss, and the unknowns of a new tournament, the commissioners agreed to pledge a total of $6000 prize dollars for softball, cornhole, and soccer combined. Chambers said Tourism will again host the Watermelon Olympics and a kids’ fishing derby, plus a volleyball tourney is in the works.  

In other business, Chambers informed the commission that the Amtrak platform is in need of repair. She said after receiving quotes on the labor, the lowest was $12,640, including removal and disposal of existing wood and installation of new. Plus, $2,300 would be the cost of lumber from local suppliers. Total project cost will be around $15,000. The motion was voted on and approved. 

Chambers also updated commission members on Sparks Fly in July. She said overall the event was a success. She reported that a few food trucks backed out last minute which caused longer lines, but most appeared happy and ready to return next year. She gave commission members a budget statement and said it wasn’t final since some invoices were still pending, but they discussed possibly raising the budget for next year. Chambers and commission members both said they received multiple reports from citizens who were pleased with the event. 

Chambers shared with commissioners the cost of repairing the flooring, walls, and plumbing of the portable restroom trailer used at events. She said it was estimated at $9,500, cheaper compared to a brand new restroom trailer with costs running around $65k. She said she was still checking on costs for air conditioning so the issue will be revisited once those estimates are in. 

Other updates included progress on an event tent and a possible grant for updates to the Visitors Center. 

The Hope Advertising & Tourist Promotion Commission took a quick photo before the meeting for Chamber director Christy Burns. They are holding a poster advertising Watermelon Festival Headliner Rodney Atkins.