NCA Cave Talk NATIONAL CAVES ASSOCIATION July 1, 1984 BARBARA MUNSON, Coordinator Route 9, Box 106 McMinnville, TN 37110 (615) 668-3925 NCA CONVENTION .... Plans for the 1984 NCA Annual Meeting October 2 through 4 at HOWE CAVERNS in New York include, in addition to the very important exchange of ideas between members, meetings, round tables, outstanding speakers, and the chance to hear and meet authorities in the travel industry. Rodney Schaeffer and Harrison Terk will be sending you a detailed announcement of events and reservation information. A pre-convention get together is planned for around 6 Monday evening, a Square Dance is planned for Tuesday evening, and on Wednesday evening the group will go by bus to visit the famous Saratoga Race Track at Saratoga Springs (new rules permit children, accompanied by their parents to visit the track). Those who are flying to the Convention will find that twelve airlines go into the Albany airport. WE'RE LOOKING FORWARD TO SEEING EACH OF YOU AT THE CONVENTION GIFT SHOW ....... The NCA has been invited to attend the Fourth Annual Lake George Gift Show September 30th through October 4th 9:30 AM to 6:00 PM at Lake Georqe, New York. Most of the top souvenir lines in the country will be in attendance. If you want additional information, please write Al Bass, Show Co-ordinator, 10 Rockland St., Brockton, MA 02401. ECONOMIC IMPACT ... March 1984 Fifteen operations reported decreases from 2% to 49.1% and averaging out to 18.18% (25% for A category, 25% for B category, and 17.8% for C category). Poor weather and the Easter holidays falling in April this year contributed to these decreases. Eight operations reported increases from 77% to 2% and averaging 19.33% (A 14.13%, B 47%, and C 2.06%). Improved weather and special promotions were listed as reasons for these increases. One "A" member and one "c" member reported break-evens and three members were still closed for the winter. Aoril 1984 Not as good as expected. Despite the late Easter date, eleven operations reported decreases averaging 9.34%. (A 4.08%, B 18.33%, and C 9.12%). Reasons given included "wet weather' "colder than normal" "flooded out for two daysll, and one member reported his area was still in a recession with more plants closing every day. Fourteen operations reported increases, including one increase of 254%1 The averaged increase was 36.94%, or 20.24% without the biggie. (A 32.54%, B 67.82% with the 254% or 21.28% without, and C 9.12%) There was one breakeven and one still closed. May 1984 22 members reported increases averaging 14.99% (A 19.55%, B 12.69%, and C 8.23%). Six members reported decreases averaging 7.33% (A 10.50% and C 5.74%). Category A caves have less than 40,000 visitors a year, category B caves have between 40,000 and 100,000 visitors a year, and category C caves have more than 100,000 vitisors a year.
GIFT SHOPS ...... The NCA Gift Shop Survey sheets were mailed last week early replies indicate the Survey Committee will have some interesting information to share with the members. We need YOUR reply, even if you don't have the answers available at present for. some of the questions. A COUPLE OF COMMENTS ..... While reviewing the recent NCA Survey on Guides, we found these comments on the advantages and/or disadvantages of hiring all male or all female guides interesting: "We employ a mix males are more industrious and energetic, women are neater and more inclined to keep the gift shop clean. However, we've had a higher theft rate among women and more absenteeism. We don't hire somkers because they lack energy and need too many cigarette breaks. II "We have a mixture .... and feel this is a-n advantage, especially when we have a specific request for either a male or a female g':.lide." GUIDE HANDBOOK .. Richard Mills and James Ramey of BLANCHARD SPRINGS CAVERNS, have graciously sent us two copies of their guide manual, one for our NCA files and the other to be circulated through the NCA membership. Any NCA member will be welcome to Zerox the circulation copy if they so desire. This shared information is greatly appreciated. Members should contact the NCA office to borrow the circulation copy. SOLE OWNERaaaa .... John T. "Jack 11 Steiner has, through his acquisition of stock he did not previously own, become the sole owner of RUBY FALLS. Jack, past president of the NCA, became president and general manager of RUBY FALLS in July 1978, and for the previous seven years he had been a director of the business. SEQUOYAH CAVERNS . A lengthy and interesting article by Joel M. Sneed in the May 1984 NSS NEWS tells of the history and development of SEQUOYAH CAVERNS. TOUR & TRAVEL EXCBANGE .... Joe Waggoner will again be representing the NCA in the National Tour Association in the PSO Tour and Travel Exchange during the NTA Annual Convnetion in Nashville, Tennessee November 12 16, 1984. INFORMATION REQUEST ..... Dr. Thomas M. Iliffe, Bermuda Biological station for Research, Ferry Reach 1-15, Bermuda, is preparing a semi-scientific guide book for Crystal Cave, one of Bermuda's finest toursit attractions, and is seeking information regarding style, content, layout, publication costs, number of copies printed, etc from show caves in the United States. He also would like to know approximately what percentage of cave visitors purchase guide books and what would be the maximum price that could be charged for such a good book. Dr. Iliffe would appreciate any information any of our members could share with him. CACTUS BLOOMS ..... A long drought at CARLSBAD CAVERNS was broken two and a half inches of rain in three days. long freeze just before Christmas, stimulated display of cactus blooms in twenty years. in mid May by almost This, and the week the most spactular
WOMEN IN TRAVEL SERVICES ..... RACCOON MOUNTAIN CAVERNS' Judy Graham is serving as Chairman of the Chattanooga Chapter of Women in Travel Services. T I A The Travel Industry Association of American convention will be September 13-16, 1984 at the Loew's Anatole Hotel in Dallas, Texas. SYMPOSIUM ........ The 1984 National Cave menegement Symposium will be held October 10-14 in Rolla, Missouri. For additional information, please contact Scott Schulte, Symposium Chairman, Missouri Department of Natural Resources, P. O. Box 176, Jefferson City, MO 65102. A GOOD PLOOD CRYSTAL ONYX CAVE benefitted from flooding in May. Wes OdIe writes a new level of. burial ground bones was uncovered by the flooding. Dr. Patty Jo Watson will be studying the bones during the summer and plans are being made to have the Smithsonian Institute date the bones. WAX MUSEUM Wes OdIe, CRYSTAL ONYX CAVE, has purchased, and will be operating, the Mammoth Cave Wax Museum in Cave City, Kentucky. NEW ARRIVAL ...... Amanda Robinson was born to MARENGO CAVE's Gary and Laura on May 29th. Gary is thinking about putting her to work during the July 4th rush! CONVERSION Bill Austin has converted the first of the MAMMOTH ONYX CAVE vehicles to use natural gas he is getting from his own well. TOUR JEEP FANTASTIC CAVERNS' original tour jeep is being completely restored to be used in conjunction with Mark Trimble's new AUTO SHOW. The jeep has been completely dissambled, carefully repaired, and currently is being reassembled. Russ Campbell says when the project is done, it will have taken more than 400 rnanhours. He goes on to quip that we all know a cave is by definition, "A hole into which you can pour vast amounts of money and never fill." and that the same principal applies to restoring old jeeps! A NEW TREND A new trend in Tour Packages is the "Hub-and-Spoke Tour Package." The ge t-there-and-back ll travel time to a pivotal city is minimized by the use of air transportation. The tour then stays in that city for several days, taking single-day motorcoach or boat trips to points of interest. See the June 1984 issue of the NTA Courier magazine ..
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