Robert A. Holt PO Box 625, Cobleskill, NY 12043 E xecutive Director Phone: 573 836 2256 E mail: email@example.com www.cavern.com October 2014 Colorado Convention Report It's been a few days since we all left Colorado Springs and the fantastic convention put together by Grant Carey and his crew at Cave of the Winds. Since that time I've been trying to put together everything that we did so that I could do a summary of the week's events for everyone in this edition of Cave Talk. Well, here goes.... For a few of us who arrived early to do convention prep we were fortunate enough to be invited by Grant and his wife Annette to visit their ranch for a tour and BBQ dinner. Wh at a beautiful property you have, simply stunning, especially in the early evening as the sun was going down. Thank you for allowing us to visit and for being such gracious hosts. Thank you also to Steve and Shelley Runkle for having several of us over t o their home for meals and sharing the joys of friendship. Shelley became the transportation wagon for some of us who did not have a vehicle and gave us a first class tour of Colorado Springs. Some of us got to ride with "Uncle Runk" in the "Red Sled" Must ang. If the se were the only thing s that we did on our visit to Colorado we'd all leave with smiles on our faces. But there was much more to come as the w eek's activities updated. The Board of Directors met on Sunday to take care of Association business. Afterwards some decided to relax and watch football while others decided to visit one of the treasures of Colorado Springs, the Garden of the Gods. The rock formations were incredible and if you had the chance to visit it was easy to see why it was given the name that it has. A lot of us had the same idea that day and at one point we could have had a mini convention at the Garden of the Gods gift shop and information center what with all the "cave people" around. Monday brought us the vendor sh ow and committee meetings. The vendor show was well attended and from talking to the vendors another successful event. Well done, Claudia, Denise, Susan and everyone who worked on putting the show together. You OFFICERS President : Steve Rawlings Mercer Caverns, CA Ph: 209 728 2101 firstname.lastname@example.org Vice President : Patty Perlaky Raccoon Mt. Caverns, TN Ph: 423 821 9403 email@example.com Secretary Treasurer : Bob Holt Mercer Caverns, CA Ph: 573 836 2256 firstname.lastname@example.org Past President : Greg Beckler N atural Stone Bridge & Caves, NY Ph: 518 494 2283 email@example.com et REGIONAL DIRECTORS Region One : (CT, DE, ME, MA, NH, NJ, NY, PA, RI, VT) Rob Arey Polar Caves Park NH firstname.lastname@example.org Ph: 603 536 1888 Region Two : (MD, VA, WV, KY) Rho Lansden Lost River Cave & Valley, KY email@example.com Ph: 270 393 0077 Region Three : (IL, IN, MI, OH) Claudia Yundt Squire Boone Caverns, IN firstname.lastname@example.org Ph: 812 732 4382 Region Four : (AR, IA, KS, MO, NE) Dennis Boyer War Eagle Cavern, AR email@example.com Ph: 479 789 2909 Region Five : (MN, MT, ND, SD, WI) Tom Hagen Rushmore Cave, SD firstname.lastname@example.org Ph: 60 5 255 4467 Region Six : (CA, ID, NV, OR, WA, AK, HI, Barbados, Bermuda) Matt Doyle Lake Shasta Caverns, CA email@example.com Ph: 800 795 CAVE Region Seven : (AZ, CO, NM, UT, WY) Steve Beckley Glenwood Caverns, CO firstname.lastname@example.org Ph: 970 945 4CAV Region Eight : (LA, OK, TX) Ed Mayfield Caverns of Sonora, TX email@example.com Ph: 325 387 3105 Region Nine : (AL, FL, GA, MS, NC, SC, TN,) John Graves Luray Caverns, VA john.graves@luraycaverns. com Ph: 540 743 6551 Director s at Large Steve Runkle Cave of the Winds, CO firstname.lastname@example.org Ph: 719 685 5444 Aaron Ginn Sierra Nevada Recreation, CA a sginn @caverntours.com Ph: 209 736 2708
continue to outdo yourselves every year a nd this was no exception. I hope that everyone took the opportunity to visit with the vendors who were there and thanked them for their support and if you had the need, spent a bit of that hard earned money for your gift store. The opening reception too k place that evening with convention attendees and many of the vendors filling the room to overflowing. Grant Carey presented Woody Woodruff of the Sandy Creek Mining Company with a beautiful neon Coors Lite sign for being such a supportive sponsor and fr iend of the NCA. This was a great kickoff to the convention. The convention officially opened on Tuesday morning with a presentation of the new website by Jim Ingerswen, our webmaster who just happens to reside in Colorado Springs Jim was followed by the insurance presentation with Keith Dobrolinsk y and Pat O' Sullivan updating the members on the current state of the NCA Insurance Program with help from representatives of Markel Insurance. After the round table in the afternoon our first guest speaker Jonathan Raymond, Chief Brand officer of EMyth, ga ve the first part of his presentation on ways to improve and market your business. Tuesday afternoon took us out to Cave of the Winds for thrills, fun and lively entertainment. Many of the adventure seekers and some of the not so adventuresome decided to take a ride on the new only one of its kind swing ride, the Terror Dactyl. Your humble president was not feeling too adventurous that evening but when our own vendor show chair Claudia Yundt decided she needed a riding partner my fate was decided. Eve rything was going well as we got strapped into that two seat swing but when the gates parted and we were gradually tilted until we were facing down looking at the canyon floor I could feel my heart starting to race. Before we could finish saying "Oh s..." we were off swinging across the canyon screaming partly with fear and ultimately in delight as we took in the magnificent views that could only be seen from our seats hanging in the middle of that beautiful canyon. I didn't come down from that adrenalin rush for the rest of the evening. I think everyone who rode the Terror Dactyl that afternoon will agree that it's an experience that will not soon be forgotten. Other offerings at Cave of the Winds were the Screaming Eagle Zip Line, the three story ropes course that takes one out over the canyon and, of course, tours of the cave. By the time dinner came around everyone was talking and laughing and having a wonderful time, everything we all look forward to when we come to a convention. After dinner we wer e held spellbound by the Cave of the Winds laser light show which was unveiled after many years of dormancy. The lasers were projected from the visitors center across the canyon onto the opposite canyon wall. It was a great show and the perfect way to en d our visit to Cave of the Winds.
Well done, Grant, Daniel, and all of the staff at the Cave of the Winds. You were fantastic hosts! We did have to attend to the business of the association at some point so the annual business meeting was held on Wedne sday morning. We tried to keep the business meeting short and judging from comments from some of those attending, having a short business meeting was appreciated. During the meeting a proposed amendment to the bylaws creating a complimentary membership c lass for qualifying federal and state caves was presented to the membership. After some discussion a motion was made to adopt the bylaws amendment which was then passed unanimously. After the conclusion of the business meeting Jonathan Raymond finished h is presentation on improving and marketing your business in today's world. Thanks to Jonathan for joining us at the convention and showing us ways to better our businesses. That afternoon our second guest speaker had the convention energized, excited an d enthusiastic with his presentation. Bret Pfost of the Disneyland Resort in California gave a wonderful presentation on employee training from management to guides. As part of the presentation members were asked to prepare various scenarios on how they would handle certain situations that might occur at their cave. Brad, Travis and Joye Wuest aided by John Graves had the entire group rolling in the aisles during their presentation. Hey Brad, did you ever find that gluten flavor of ice cream? Thanks to Steve Beckley and his staff at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park for bringing Mr. Pfost to the convention and helping out in the presentation. We all learned a great deal while bei ng thoroughly entertained. The evening entertainment after a tasty barbeque dinner consisted of cowboy poet, singer, storyteller Gary McMahan. Mr. McMahan ent ertained us with songs, yodeling, poems of the west and some funny and interesting stories and jokes. After everything we experienced the previous evening at Cave of the Winds I didn't see how it could get much better but it did and another wonderf ul even ing was had by all. All of the business of the association having been taken care of and the guest speaker presentations having been made Thursday was set aside for fun and relaxation starting with riding the cog train up to the top of Pike's Peak. The en tire experience lasted about three hours, riding the train up through the forest and then the high country where the trees disappeared to magnificent views of snow capped mountains, lush valleys and flatlands below. When we got to the top of Pike's Peak there was snow and ice on the ground and some wind blowing. Needless to say it was a bit chilly so everyone eventually made their way to the store for something warm to drink and perhaps one of those world famous Pike's Peak doughnuts. Unfortunately, due to
snow and ice on the road the staff at the store were unable to get to the top early enough to make doughnuts so we were left wondering about the tasty morsels we had missed out on. I guess another trip to Pike's Peak will have to answ er that question. After the train ride we were invited to visit Pike's Peak Rock Shop for lunch and a tour of their warehouse. Everyone who visited got to see treasures of every kind and size, to meet the staff and to see how Pike's Peak Rock Shop operates. Than k you for providing lunch and for allowing us to get an inside look at the inner workings of the business. We all enjoyed our visit and we hope you enjoyed having us. The rest of the day was left for everyone to rest, relax or explore Colora do Springs. The evening brought us the closing cocktail reception and dinner. During the cocktail reception Joe Klimczak aka Clay Matthews and Ann Wescott gave a delightful presentation for next year's convention in Wisconsin. The convention will take place at House on the Rock Resort and will be celebrating the 75th Anniversary of the opening of Cave of the Mounds and also the 50th Anniversary o f the founding of the National Caves Association. Look for more convention news in Cave Talk in the comin g months. Prior to sitting down to another delightful meal the Association honored our longest tenured affiliate member and one of our most loyal and generous sponsors with a Special Recognition Award. For close to 20 years Pat "Woody" Woodruff and the Sandy Creek Mining Company has been an affiliate member of the Association. During that time Woody, his wife Terrie and sons Justin and Jason, and his company have supported the NCA by sponsoring events at the annual convention. More than that and with little recognition or fanfare they have supported individual members of the Association when the need arose. It was my very distinct pleasure and honor to be able to present the award to Woody along with Steve Runkle who made the nomination. It was an award long overdue an d very well deserved. After many thank yous by Grant Carey and yours truly to those who made the convention an overwhelming success, the kitchen staff of Cheyenne Mountain Resort treated us all to another fabulous meal which was only a prelude to the incredible evening of magic we were all about t o witness. Richard Kwesell, a longtime acquaintance of Grant, treated us all to an evening of magic and entertainment that rivals some of the best magic shows I've ever seen. Not only did he have us bewildered as he performed his magic but he had us laug hing all evening with stories and jokes as he got members of the Association to participate in the show. Thoroughly entranced by his performance the crowd called for Richard to perform one more illusion, then another and another which Richard graciously d id until finally the magic show ended wit h everyone smiling in amazement and thoroughly entertained by what they had just seen. Indeed, it was a grand finale to an absolutely tremendous convention.
As I end this message I'd like to give one more big than ks to Grant and his entire staff at Cave of the Winds for giving us a convention that will be talked about for years and that will add to the fond memories that we have of conventions past. Thanks to Steve Beckley and his staff at Glenwood Caverns Advent ure Park for hosting all of the members who were fortunate enough to visit your wonderful property. Thanks to all of the vendors who participated in the vendor show and who sponsored events during the convention. Thanks to Susan, Bob, Claudia and Denise for all of the endless hours of work in putting this convention together and keeping things on track. A huge thanks to the management and staff at Cheyenne Mountain Resort for the attentive service and wonderful facilities they provided during the week. And finally, a big thank you to all of the members who attended the convention. It is for you that we have these conventions and we hope that you all had a wonderful time and enjoyed visiting Colorado. For those of you who've been able to get through thi s entire novel thank you for taking the time out of your day to keep up on NCA news. We hope to see you next year in Wisconsin as we celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the founding of the National Caves Association and the 75th Anniversary of the opening o f Cave of the Mounds. It will be a convention that you won't want to miss so start making plans to attend now. Don't worry, we'll keep reminding you to come to Wisconsin in the coming months. Steve Rawlings President You Can Find All Convention Reports On cavern.com Under The Members Section! More Convention Photos
Welcome NCA Members! The International Gift Exposition in the Smokies invites you to IGEScape the Ordinary this November as we celebrate 15 years in the Smokies! Our carefully hand picked exhibitors provide custom merchandise for buyers coming everywhere in between! Join us this year as we anticipate nearly 1200 booths between our Pigeon Forge LeConte Center and our Sevierville Convention Center, a BRAND NEW, buyer requested Made In America/ Handcrafted Section debuting at the Sevierville Convention Center, over 100 NEW exhibitors, cho sen specifically for their NEW and UNIQUE products, hundreds of returning exhibitors with items you have come to know as best sellers and buyer delights guaranteed to knock your socks off! It is our hope that you will attend our IGES and feel pampered as VIP buyers as you exhaust your buying budget with our exhibitors! This year help us celebrate 15 years with : Buyer Goody Bags to the first 200 buyers through the doors in Sevierville on Sunday, Nov. 2 nd and the first 200 buyers through the doors in Pigeon Forge on Monday, Nov, 3 rd (Tickets handed out to be exchanged for bags at 9am!) 2 nd at our Sevierville Convention Center! HAPPY HOUR on Monday, Nov. 3 rd compliments of sponsoring IGES exhibitors! FREE coffee and pastries at both locations, every morning of the show from 8:45am 10am! A Beach Bag Giveaway in Sevierville on Nov. 4 th to the first 50 buyers to The Beach Bar! A Mountain Swag Bag Giveaway in Pigeon Forge on Wednesday, Nov. 5 th to the first 50 buyers to The Mountain Margarita Bar! FREE LUNCH in Sevierville on both Monday, Nov. 3 rd and Tuesday, Nov. 4 th FREE FREIGHT OFFERS! From participating exhibitors in Sevierville on Thursday, Nov. 6 th and Pigeon Forge on Friday, Nov. 7 th EXHIBITOR GIVEAWAYS: Monday, November 3 rd The Pirate Pipeline is giving away a goody bag to the first 100 buyers to his booth #2035 in Sevierville at 2pm! Be there to secure yours and enjoy refreshments as well! Tuesday, November 4 th Miami Souvenirs will be giving away margaritas in limited ed ition glasses to the first 50 buyers to secure their Beach Bags from the Beach Bar in Sevierville at 11am! Tickets will be given to Beach Bag Recipients to be exchanged for a mar garita in the Miami Souvenirs booth #2724 from 11am 1pm! Wednesday, November 5 th Aurora World will be giving away 50 My Little Pony plush animals to the first 50 buyers to booth 6022 in
Additionally, we hope you plan to attend the taki ng place at the River Stone Resort in Pigeon Forge on Tuesday, November 4 th from 5:30pm 9pm. Enjoy dinner, drinks and a priceless roundtable discussion with your fellow NCA members! Here is a link for the NCA Dinner Registration Form: http://members.cavern.com/Content/Cttes/IGES%20Trade%20Show%20Attendees%20 %20NCA%20Dinner.pdf Moderator: Claudia Yundt, Squire Boone Caverns Great t rips make great memories! Great souvenirs make those memories last forever! We look forward to seeing you in Sevierville & Pigeon Forge! Mark Twain Cave and Campgrounds Awarded 2014 TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence Recognised as a Top Performing Tourism site and Campground as Reviewed by Travellers on the Mark Twain Cave and Campground announced that it has received a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence award. The accolade, which honors hospitality excellence, is given only to establishments that consistently achieve outstanding traveller reviews on TripAdvisor, and is extended to qualifying businesses worldwide. Establishments awarded the Certificate of Excellence are locat ed all over the world and represent the upper echelon of businesses listed on the website. When selecting Certificate of Excellence winners, TripAdvisor uses a proprietary algorithm to determine the honorees that takes into account reviews ratings. Businesses must maintain an overall TripAdvisor bubble rating of at least four out of five, volume and recency of reviews. Additional criteria include a busin round and a review on TripAdvisor TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence based on customer reviews, the accolade is a remarkable vote of confidence to our business and of tificate of Excellence award gives top performing establishments around the world the recognition they deserve, based on feedback from those who matter most their customers. From Australia to Zimbabwe, we want to applaud exceptional hospitality businesse
WNS Report The USFWS had granted about $1.3 million to 30 states for research, monitoring, and protection of bats. These states are now receiving the funds. In Wisconsin, further testing shows that WNS was isolated to a single site in Grant County. The BLM in Colorado will continue to allow public access to the caves it manages. These caves could be closed if WNS is detected within 100 miles. All the details can be found at www.blm.gov/co/st/en/BLM_Programs/wildlife/White_Nose_Syndrome.html Endangered Species Listing This month, most of the articles on WNS focused on adding the Nor thern Long Eared Bat to the Endangered Species List. This species uses trees (both live and dead) to roost in the summer. The decision by the USFWS regarding placing Northern long eared bats on the Federal Endangered Species List is scheduled for April 2, 2015. There were several articles from conservation groups that stated the decline in numbers warranted placement on the list. Most articles focused on how industries would be affected. For example, MN has an estimated 5,000 Northern long eared ba ts. About 30,000 people are employed in the timber industry, which would not be able to cut trees from April to October if the bats get endangered status. At a U.S. House of Natural Resources Hearing in Harrisburg, PA on September 8 th industry represent atives said that although they come in contact with bats, the regulations will not save the bats because it is not an industry behavior that is killing them WNS is the cause. Electrical company representatives said it could impede electrical service to h omes if they could not clear branches from power lines. caused disease, the Service issued guidance which focused on ensu ring that every human Patty Perlaky WNS Committee Chair Dates to Remember Mark Your Calendar! International Show Caves Association Congress 2014, Jenolan Caves, New South Wales, Australia, November 2 8, 2014 IGES/SSS 2014, Sevierville, Tennessee, November 2 6, 2014 & Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, November 3 7, 2014 IAAPA 2014, Orlando, Florida, November 17 21, 2014 Tucson Gem and Mineral Shows 2015, Tucson, Arizona, January 31 February 15, 2015 NCA Mid Winter Board of Directors Meeting, Renaissance Airport Hotel, St. Louis, Missouri, March 2 4 201 5 NSS Convention 2015, Waynesville Missouri July 13 17, 2015 NCA Convention 2015, (50 th Anniversary) Host: Cave of the Mounds, Blue Mounds, Wisconsin, September 21 25, 2015 NCKRI The Sinkhole Conference, Rochester, Minnesota, October 5 9, 2015 IGES/SSS 2015, Sevierville, Tennessee, November 1 5, 2014 & Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, November 2 6, 2014 IAAPA 2015, Orlando, Florida, November 16 20, 2015 Tucson Gem and Mineral Shows 2016, Tucson, Arizona, January 30 February 14, 2015 NCA Mid Winter Board of Directors Meeting, Renaissance Airport Hotel, St. Louis, Missouri, February 22 24 201 6 NSS Convention 2016, Ely, Nevada, July 17 23, 2016 NCA Convention 2016, Host: Squire Boone Caverns, French Lick, Indiana, September 19 23, 2016 IAAPA 2016, Orlando, Florida, November 8 11, 2016
Cave Talk is a
publication of the National Caves Association, a non-profit
trade association founded in 1965 by a small group of private
show cave owners. These initial members sought to bring
together show cave owners and operators from across the United
States to promote the show cave industry to the public, to
share information and ideas, and to lobby for legislation
favorable to the show cave industry.