Industry Update

November 1, 2007

Lake Of The Ozarks A Huge Success at the Horny Toad Offshore Super Series National Championship

On September 28, 29 and 30, the Lake of the Ozarks was proud host to this year’s Horny Toad Offshore Super Series National Championship power boat races with events running all week and concluding with a headliner concert on Sunday. Racers began arriving midweek with meet and greets so spectators could meet the racers, look at the boats and join in the festivities going on all week.

Ellen Greenleaf, Event and Media Liaison for the OSS, and Jim Koert, Chief Starter and Assistant Referee, counted 40 race teams from the two organizations – OSS and POPRA, who brought with them 700 to 800 members, owners, racers and VIP. Their dry land estimate of spectators was between 40,000 and 45,000 and their water estimate for spectators was approximately 2,000 boats lining the course to view the races. Said Greenleaf, “This was a hugely successful event. The efficiency of everything, the centralized location, the grounds, the entertainment, the course – everything was positive.” Greenleaf said everyone is looking forward to coming back next year and that they are already working with local race producers on next year’s race. For more information, visit www.toadcove.com.

Drenching Yourself in Chocolate

In Kelley Lamm’s life as the founder of the Chocolate Cafe & Coffee House and as a motivational speaker, chocolate of every variety is a continuing source of inspiration. Lamm believes chocolate can help nourish the soul and enhance awareness of life’s richness.

Susan McGhee is the Culinary Operation Director and a 20 percent co-owner of the Chocolate Café & Coffee House. McGhee has worked extensively in the retail food environment and has obtained a degree in culinary arts.  McGhee focuses on the quality of the food as well as maintaining the consistency, artistry and development of food and dessert production. McGhee creates and designs new menu items that bring excitement and are unique to the café.

The cafe has been recognized and won awards for their chocolate chunk muffins and a national award for the Chocolada Chocktail. They have also been voted among a local magazine’s top desserts with their Big Chocolate Cake. The Chocolate Café was awarded top desserts and Best Chocolate in 2006 by local newspapers.

The vision of the café is to expand to different parts of Metro St. Louis, bringing sweetness to each community, to experience something unique while spending time with friends and family while drenching one’s senses in fudge!

For more information, visit www.chocolatecafeandcoffeehouse.com.

The Jefferson City Convention and Visitors Bureau has moved!

The Jefferson City CVB has moved to a new location in the heart of downtown Jefferson City. The new address is 100 E. High Street, P.O. Box 2227, Jefferson City, MO  65101. If you are in Jefferson City, please come by and visit.

For more information, contact Steve Picker at [email protected].

Saint Louis Attractions Association Celebrates 20th Year of Serving the Tourism and Hospitality Industry

The Saint Louis Attractions Association (SLAA) was formed in 1987 as a way for area tourism and hospitality professionals to share ideas, methods and information. Twenty years later, the group that set its sights on being the industry’s “ticket” to success continues its mission to provide beneficial education and awareness for its 134 member organizations.

Today, active SLAA member organizations include regional attractions from museums and historic homes to casinos and wineries. Allied memberships are available for businesses that provide related services in the hospitality industry, such as hotels, restaurants, advertising agencies, tour operators and more. Student memberships are also available.

For more information on the Saint Louis Attractions Association, visit www.stlattractions.org, call (314) 416-2233 or e-mail [email protected].

Floating on Cloud Nine

CloudNine

Cloud Nine is a new dessert shop now open in New Town-St. Charles, MO.  It offers a unique variety of cheesecake flavors and more than 30 kinds of cupcakes and frostings as well as brownies, cakes, pies and other weekly specials. Chef/Owner Nevada Baker has created a light yet decadent cheesecake with each flavor having its own signature crust. The shop features items not found anywhere else in the area such as a cheesecake-filled, chocolate-dipped strawberry that you will never forget.

Cloud Nine also offers a dessert catering service that excels in taste and presentation.  “We will work with your ideas and your budget, creating the perfect assortment of delectable sweets and treats,” says Baker. “We have the capacity to handle nearly any type of event, big or small, and are committed to providing superior customer service and delicious desserts tailored to your needs.”

The retail store is open on Fridays and Saturdays with custom orders available anytime for pick-up or delivery by appointment.  For information, call 636-916-4440 or e-mail [email protected].

New Organic Gourmet Food Gift Baskets Help Businesses Say ‘Thank You’ with Healthy Savoir Faire

FanciFull Gift Baskets, known for its amazing variety of gift basket items culled from around the world, has just released a new line of all natural and organic food and wine baskets, destined to be a hit with companies wanting to say ‘thank you’ to their clients and employees in a distinctively in-vogue healthy fashion.  The new line of gift baskets is the first to offer an exceptionally broad international selection of superb organic gourmet foods and beverages, such as organic Italian tomato and vegetable spreads; natural and organic wines such as Robert Sinskey Merlot, Le Corti and Domaine d’Aupilhac; all-natural Aunt Gussie’s Pecan Meltaways; and Pure Imagination Chocolates.

“Each FanciFull gourmet basket is designed to create a complete and personal moment for the recipient,” says Terry August, CEO of Los Angeles-based FanciFull.

Aside from organic gourmet food and beverage baskets, FanciFull provides a broad array of variably-priced baskets for a variety of business needs, including corporate gift baskets, anniversary baskets, hotel welcome baskets, baskets for conventions and meetings, birthday baskets, get well and sympathy baskets and new baby baskets.  FanciFull also has gift programs to accommodate multiple company locations, and easy-order custom-designed order processing to fit a company’s needs.

For more information call 800-350-4437 or e-mail [email protected]. You can also visit www.fancifullgiftbaskets.com.

First Tour of Missouri Tours Branson

TourOfMissouri

The tension was apparent on the Branson Landing promenade as 120 world-class cyclists fiddled with their helmet straps and flexed their legs, ready to race through the Ozarks.

Branson was the site for the individual time trials of the inaugural six-day, 562-mile Tour of Missouri professional cycling race.  American George Hincapie was the overall winner, clinging to a 1:40 second lead as he sped past an estimated crowd of 60,000 that lined the final leg of the course in St. Louis on Sept. 16.

The race attracted professional cyclists from 20 countries, and it was the final appearance by members of the Discovery Channel’s team before the team disbanded.  Those members included Hincapie, who has finished 11 Tour de France races; Spaniard Alberto Contador, the 2007 Tour de France winner; and the third-place finisher, American Levi Leipheimer.

Thanks to support from sponsors including the state of Missouri and the Missouri Tourism Commission, the work of hundreds of volunteers and enthusiastic spectators at each leg of the race, plans are under way for the 2008 event.

The route hasn’t been determined.  This year, the race started in Kansas City,  traveled to Clinton, Springfield, Branson, Lebanon, Columbia, Jefferson City and St. Charles, and ended in St. Louis.

Ross Summers, president of the Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce and Convention & Visitors Bureau, said the race was bound to be a plus for the area.

“It’s not an event meant to have people come and stay, but they’ll see what we have to offer and want to come back.”

The race is an opportunity to let biking enthusiasts know about the Branson area’s burgeoning network of hiking and biking trails, said Craig Erickson, owner of Downhill Bikes, who caters to a growing number of visiting bikers. The city of Branson and other communities throughout Taney and Stone counties have already built several segments of a planned 80-mile loop through some of the most beautiful areas of the Ozarks. Surveys by the Travel Industry Association have shown outdoor activities to be the third most popular activity of travelers following shopping and visiting family.

The Spark Agency Manages the UPS Centennial Global Tour

SparkUPSEvent

On September 28 and 29 the UPS Centennial Global Tour, celebrating 100 years of UPS service, came to St. Louis – or more specifically, to the UPS facility in Earth City.

From its humble beginnings in 1907 as a Seattle messenger company, UPS has grown into a global leader in supply chain services. Today, UPS maintains its own airline, employs more than 400,000 people worldwide, and delivers an average of 15.6 million packages and documents a day.

Managed by St. Louis-based The Spark Agency Inc., the Centennial Global Tour visited a total of 72 locations in the U.S. and abroad. The tour itself was divided into East Coast, West Coast and International Crated groups.

The tour not only targeted UPS customers, but also its own employees, retirees and their families and friends. At least 3,600 visitors were expected at the St. Louis event alone.

Visitors to the Centennial Global Tour were greeted by an enormous UPS globe, around which the “The Big Idea” area was located. Here, visitors could record their names and ideas in guest books that will be preserved in the UPS archives. The Centennial Hall was located nearby, housed in one of two traveling trailers. Centennial Hall told the UPS story from both employees’ and customers’ perspectives using a series of interactive kiosks. Outside the hall was an area devoted to the global community of UPS-sponsored nonprofits, including organizations such as the USA Freedom Corps, the Georgia Aquarium, the United Way, the National Center for Family Literacy, and the Annie E. Casey Foundation, which was established in 1948 by UPS founder Jim Casey in honor of his mother.

There was plenty of entertainment for kids of all ages at every stop of the 100th anniversary tour, including Race the Package Truck activity where every participant received a brown UPS wristband – except for the winner, who received a gold one. Many other carnival-style booths with games, popcorn, cotton candy and beverages also offered family fun, as well as a lovingly restored vintage delivery truck and a tricked-out modern package truck with a custom flaming hot-rod paint job.

For more information about this and other mobile displays and event production, contact John Nickel at [email protected] or call (800) 445-0633.

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