Robert A. Holt PO Box 625, Cobleskill, NY 12043 E xecutive Director Phone: 518 231 5420 E mail: firstname.lastname@example.org www.cavern.com December 2016 Dear Friends, As T ake time during the rush of the holidays to enjoy the things in life that really matter. Take in the serene moments spent with friends and loved ones, and may the wonder of Christmas surround you throughout th is holiday season and always Bob Holt Executive Director Lion Caves. Pictured at a retirement party held in his honor are cavern directors and cavern director Rick Reece. We wish him well as he completes his tour of cave duty! OFFICERS President : Patty Perlaky Cave Without A Name, TX Ph: 830 537 4212 email@example.com Vice President : John Graves Luray Caverns, VA Ph: 540 743 6551 john.graves@luraycaverns. com Secretary Treasurer : Bob Holt Mercer Caverns, CA Ph: 518 231 5420 firstname.lastname@example.org Past President : Steve Rawlings Mercer Caverns, CA Ph: 209 728 2101 email@example.com 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) Denise Bell Seneca Caverns, OH email@example.com Ph: 419 483 6711 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: 605 255 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 ) Lisa McClung Lost Sea, TN firstname.lastname@example.org Ph: 423 337 6616 D IRECTOR EMERITUS Steve Runkle Cave of the Winds, CO email@example.com Ph: 719 685 5444
We dare you to Stay in this Arkansas cave and not absolutely love it Set in the gorgeous Ozarks, in the incomparable Buffalo River Valley, Beckham Cave Lodge offers a truly unique experience. Newly remodeled, the cave lodge has maintained the breathtaking natural formations that make it so exceptional. With fully modern accommodations, it offers luxury wrapped in rock and set up in the mountains. The lodge is frequently placed on lists that tout it as one of the most unique places in the world to stay the night. And guess wh Arkansas, near the small community of Parthenon. The wonder begins before you even step inside the Beckham Cave Lodge The spacious common areas feature the natural cave ceiling and walls. The sitting area is cozy and incredibly beautiful. The hallway is spectacular.
Or you could sleep in this bedroom. Even the bathrooms are incredible. There's no place in the world quite like Beckham Cave Lodge, and you can rent it for the weekend. To find out more about the Beckham Cave Lodge or to book a weekend for $1600 a night visit their website Winter on the Mountain at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park Winter on the Mountain returns to Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park for a third year of delighting guests with its Colorado style hospitality. This family friendly, mountain top park in Glenwood Springs, Colo., shines with a dazzling display of more than a half million lights, a warming hut and lighted thrill rides. A giant Christmas tree with a light show choreographed to music takes center stage in the plaza. Holiday visits from Santa Claus and carolers add to the festive spirit. buildings are sparkling with 35 for Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park. The Adventure Park celebrated the beginning of the holiday seas on with a Winter on the Mountain kick off party Saturday, Nov. 19, from 5 to 8 p.m. Guests can visit and take photos with Santa in the North Pole warming hut until 7 p.m., which is when the lighting of the Christmas tree begins. The Coca Cola polar bear is giving away souvenir bears and bear hugs from 6 to 8 p.m. The Leonard Curry Band will perform holiday and classical music in the Lookout Grille throughout the evening.
Highlights from gift show The Tennessee Gift Shows have come and gone. gone. Several caves were in attendance at shows and it was great to see everyone. Besides running into people in the aisles we also had a NCA Bu yers dinner sponsored by: Cool Jewels, kid tees, Squire Boone Village, IGES/SSS, Souvenirs, Gifts and Novelties, L.W. Bristol Classics, Country Fresh Food & Confections, Driftstone Pueblo, Safari Ltd, A&F Custom Souvenirs, Storrs and North West Laser Design. We all gathered together on Wed nesday evening, ate dinner and then did our Each buyer stands up and shares what new thing they found at the show. This year we also shared what year and what did sell. I think the most unique thing that was found new this year was the earrings that were plants in sea shells. The one item that was discussed that did not sell was the grass flip flop shoes. What a great time and it is so great that we can all share info rmation! Thanks to everyone that attended and a huge thank you to everyone that took the time to get samples and show everyone their great items. thank all our great sponsors!
Congratulations to all our door prize winners! Thank You Sponsors!! Years ago Susan Mills and Jerry started the small Pigeon Forge Gift show which turned into the large Pigeon Forge Gift Show at the Le Conte Center and the Sevierville Gift Show at the Sevierville Event Center. They were very focused on customer service and loved the folks of the National Caves Association. A few months ago they had the opportunity to sell the IGES gift shows to Emerald. shows but it was under the help of Susan, Jerry and thei r team. changes will be made but with the shows being under new management there will be changes. I will keep you as informed as possible. I also agree with what still need to get together and keep this tradition going! The information we share is very valuable and it is great just to get together again! I want to take the opportunity to wish everyone Happy Holidays and please be safe! We have lost several member s of our cave family this year and you never know what tomorrow might bring. tell the people around you how much they mean to you! Our prayers go out to all those affected by t he horrible wild fires destroying the beautiful areas of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge where many of us visit each fall during the gift show. Claudia Yundt Retail Chair Anita and Randy Langover report Cosmic Cavern, will be closed the entire month of January to remove a 30 year old bridge that was built of treated pine, however the frame holding it was built right. It is 66 ft. long over the first bottomless lake, and a local contractor is going to help get it in within a weeks time. This will all be made of concrete and very sturdy and long lasting.
Sandy Creek Mining Company celebrates 25 years in business ; a loyal NCA Affiliate M ember 2016 marks the 25th anniversary for the Woodruff family business, Sandy C reek Mining Company based in Fostoria, Ohio. This story gives a brief synopsis of how th eir business has grown over the years. asked them how Sandy Creek Mining came about. Woody said that in 1991 he and Terrie made a trip to North Carolina and went to a flea market where they saw someone set up demonstrating panning for gems where they made jewelry from their find. Woody thought this would be something they could do but make it more educational for the p articipants started our business in making the sluice boxes and made up bags (with shrink wrap) by using a hand machine producing 5 bags of rough a minute with three guys. Today we have an automated machine we use and the same three guys produce 50 bags a minute. No human hands touch a bag until it reaches the box where it is packed up and ready to ship out. The ir first season in business they attended town festivals and muzzleloader shoots to peddle their product. Woody knew Jeanet involved with the NCA. Woody recalls attending his first convention at Laurel Caverns in Pennsylvania in 1994. He was allowed three minutes to give his spiel on what a sluice was and how much money caves could make o n panning for gems. All this was demonstrated with a sluice set up on a trailer he brought with him. Shortly after that first convention, the first sluice was installed at Seneca Caverns, followed by Olentangy Indian Caverns, both located in Ohio. In recent years Woody recalls Dick Bell at Seneca how I went to visit his cave and Blue Hole on a school field trip in 1957 with only a five dollar bill in my pocket. I went into the gift shop to buy some souvenirs and then the next stop was feeding fish at nearby Blue Hole. I was down to five cents and needed a dime to make my purchase; so I had to borrow a nickel from a friend. 50 years later, I told Dick that the items I bought in his I wanted my money back! Dick of course laughed at his story. Laurel Caverns, Howe Caverns and Ohio Caverns we re installed shortly thereafter. Many other caves followed with a sluice build as Woody continued attending convention sharing his product He used these first caves as an example demonstrating how they became significantly profitable in selling mining rough Many reported their per cap spending with a sluice was second to admissions. I remember those early da ys at Howe Caverns when General Manager Harrison Terk told our stockholders how m uch money we made for the year i n selling dirt Everyone was amazed and chuckled about Woody at the 1998 convention in California The first sluice b uild at Seneca Caverns in Ohio
Max Evans talked his girls in to getting a sluice at Ohio Caverns to see if it would work, which of course it did. On a visit to Ohio Caverns sometime after the build, Woody was tal king with Max when a large group appeared and Max ran into the generator shed and turned the sluice off. I asked him why did you do that? Max replied When twin sons Justin and Jason were old enough, they became an important new generation in the family business. the happiest day in my life was when W oody bought a bobcat. I no longer moved material into the shop with a wheel barrel and a scoop. 10 years at the big show for Sandy Creek Mining Company Woody and his family appreciate so very much the connections they have made over the years with the NCA family. Because of this, they were introduced to IAAPA International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions t he BIG trade show in Orlando held every November. Visiting this show expect to walk nine miles of aisles and you will see anything imaginable from operating a Disney property right down to running a mom and pop roadside attraction s 2016 marks the tenth anniversary for the Woodruff family and the Sandy creek Mining trade show. In order to do this, t he y needed more help to help man the booth for a four day eight hour shift Several of their cave industry friends have volunteered every year to help out. After all, what better sales people to man the booth than people who have a sluice at their property! chop and all the Coors Light you could s tand In 2006 they went to IAAPA to scope it out to see if this was where they needed to be The decision was not hard to make and 2007 was their first show and they were amazed at the new doors that were open ed for them. The business increased 10% that first year, however, due to the down turn in the economy in 2008, only a 3% gain was realized. Since 2009 and every year thereafter, the business has increased at least 10% gotten into so many markets Agri Company is in 20 countries with over 500 locations. The show has produced at least 45 new customers a year plus several upgrades for existing customers. The Company is booked out throughout the course of the year with new builds. Woody recalls a guy saying he needed a sluice in a hurry. Woody asked him why the big rus The guy responded that he was open for In 25 years, the Sandy Creek Mining Company is a big deal for the NCA as a supporter. I n the eyes of IAAPA it is a big deal too as an exhibitor at the show for the past 10 years as it certainly has become an attention getter as attendees returning attendees say they saw this last year, o r the year before and hase of a package system It has e always look Bob Holt The 2016 Sandy Creek Mining Company 10 th anniversary team at IAAPA: Steve Thompson, Clint Brady, Kimberly Brady, Susan Berdeaux, John Besst, Terrie Woodruff, Jason Woodruff, Woody Woodruff, Steve Rawlings, Bob H olt, Deborah Besst, Bernard Ingram, Justin Woodruff.
Bridal Cave holds presidential election The final results of this year's Underground Opinion Poll are in, and according to our visitors, the prediction is for Donald wait to se e how the real election turned out. The presidential election has been on almost everyone's minds for some time. It's an important decision for the American people, and Bridal Cave got in on the action by holding our own opinion poll. In 1960, former Bridal Cave & Thunder Mountain Park manager Eddie Miller began what has now become a tradition for us. The "Underground Opinion Poll" is our unofficial way to predict the outcome of the Presidential election. On each and every tour of Bridal Cave, guests were asked to vote for the candidate of their choice by using their ticket stub as a ballot. One big difference with our poll is that there is no age limit. If the kids want to take part in this example of dem ocracy, they are more than welcome to join in the fun. It's all in good fun, and it's a great way to introduce your kids to the voting process. We tallied the votes on three different occasions: September 30, October 15, and a final count took place on November 1 before the real November 8 presidential election. While our numbers aren't the ones that will decide who will be the next president of the United States, there's a very good chance that our prediction would come true. Bridal Cave attracts peo ple from all around the world, and due to the wide diversity of guests from all over the U.S.A., "The Underground Opinion Poll" has become a very accurate barometer of the Presidential election outcome. There have only been 2 elections where our poll did n ot predict the winner since we started this poll in 1960. In 1972, it even predicted the exact percentage of the popular vote! Steve Thompson Bridal Cave Christmas Underground at Ruby Falls Take a magical adventure deep within the heart of Lookout Mountain where children discover a secret underground passage to see Santa! Visit the decorated gemstone mines in this unique setting 26 stories underground. Adventurers go on a journey past the N orthern Lights and Sugar Plum Fairy Village, into a tunnel (optional), through an ice cave and to the North Pole where Santa awaits! This festive event is made for children where they meet Ruby Falls gemstone miners and enjoy interactive fun like pannin g for gems called "joystone" (which spreads the spirit of Christmas), using the joystone tester and cracking their own joystone geode. View videos: Ruby Falls Christmas Underground
Emerald Expositions acquires the International Gift Show in the Smokies (IGES) to business trade show and conference producer, announced this summer its acquisition of The International Gift Expositi on in the Smokies (IGES), from M&M Gift Shows. Started in 2000 by Susan Mills and Jerry Mayer, IGES is now one of the largest gatherings of wholesale souvenir, resort and gift buyers in the United States. The show encompasses two events IGES and The Souvenir Super Show (SSS), the latter focusing on custom souvenirs. Both take place concurrently in November each year at two locations in eastern Tennessee Pigeon Forge and Sevierville which are only seven miles apart. great respect for the Emerald organization and their shows in insig has a great affinity with our buyers and sellers, and very professional in the way it operates. We are proud of the show we have built and we expect Emerald to take the show to the next level and deliver even greater value to our exhibitors, our which include ASD Marketweek, NY NOW, and National Stationery Show, and Executive Vice President, Karalynn Sprouse, will oversee the show. aid David Loechner noted that the Toledo, OH based team at M&M Gift Shows have joined the Emerald organization. All of us at the NCA want to thank Jerry & Susan for all they have done in taking such great care of the cave owners and operators at the show for so many years. It has been a pleasure working directly with Susan and we will miss her personal contact with us so very much! We wish them well. Claudia & Bob Country Christmas Hayride at Natural Bridge Caverns anywhere in the world! On select nights throughout the Christmas season, the entire park will be illuminated by thousands of twinkling lights. Within Experience a Texas Hill Country Christmas with a Country Christmas Hayride through lighted Christmas scenes beneath the stars, ending at our campfire for s'mores and hot chocolate! View video: Christmas at Natural Bridge Caverns Susan Mills
2016 Cracker Barrel Topics Thanks to John Graves who was our moderator for Cracker Barrel during convention this year and providing a recap of our topics discussed. 1. Policies for wheelchairs and service animals Big increase in therapy dogs leash/ allow in caverns Small dogs can be carried Kennels at some caves. Liability issues possible. Locks for kennels. Water and cool/warm area. Wheelchairs depends on individual caves, must try to accomodate for positive perception of efforts toward acco midation. 2. Overtime/47,000 Because caves are a natural environment, we are exempt if we are a seasonal business (33 1/3 % of income in any 6 months period). If not, must be paid. Employee must track this through a system or device to authe nticate overtime. Overtime must be paid in current pay period. 3. 3D Video through social media responces. 4. On Line Ticketing "By Pass" Line for on line tickets, but cut sales off the day before or at set number for tour. Family Ticket on line. Public like security of having ticket in hand (phone/ paper) before leaving home. 5. Weapon Symbol of gun with line through it posted on door and at ticket counter. Recommended to prevent concealed carry in cave and on property because of current environment and fears the public have of weapons in general. 6. Purses/Backpacks Small purses yes. Large purses no. Backpacks no. 7. Paid Marternity Leave Pay 1 week maternity pay. Pay 2 days for fathers. Govenment guidelines for more than 50 full time employees is 6 weeks. 8. PO S Gatemaster not good. Support system important to system selection procees. Companies out there who will answer problem by email immediately. Siriusware Luray uses loves it lots of extra programs you can buy like a "schedule program". 9. Time Clock Acro Print good system. 10. Pa. Clearance Law All employees working with a group of children must get the clearance papers resu lting from a background check. Child molestation/ abuse is driving this. Do you r emember the comic series Santa Santa's Secret Cave 1960 store giveaway measuring approx 6 7/8" x 5 1/8" with 20 full color pages cover to cover with comic stories, games and puzzles This edition was handed out by the W. T. Grant Company.
Update on the new NCA insurance program Safety and l oss control = loss control b onus Attraction Program is an opportunity to work with our own selected risk management team to focus on the current and emerging loss trends facing the cave and natural attraction industry. One of those areas is loss control and safety. Members will not only have tailor made and industry specific inspections of their operations but they will have on retainer our own safety and loss control advocate. This is important as we try to control our losses in hopes of earning a loss control bonus through our new progr am carriers. Remember, you are eligible for a loss control bonus if you participate in the new insurance program. We are pleased to introduce Ryan Brown to our team. Ryan is a Safety Advocate with more than 15 years of experience implementing safety prog rams. He works with clients across all industries to assess trends, losses and current company policies to develop safety programs that reduce claims and meet compliance and client needs. He will provide our program members with a practical and effective approach to safety to save money. Ryan is passionate about reducing loss by controlling hazards and working to create a safer work environment for employees and a safe experience for our guests. Ryan served as a Loss Control Consultant for a third party c laims management company, where he assessed small to mid several large organizations, including CDW and the famous Brookfield Zoo. His exper ience with Brookfield Zoo will tremendously help in our efforts to control loss. As part of his work, he will spotlight once a month an article in Cave Talk about safety and risk management for all NCA members to enjoy. We hope you find his ideas, concepts and recommendations of value in reducing your own overall cost of risk. We also encourage you to email Ryan at firstname.lastname@example.org with any specific questions you may have in the area of safety and pr ovide him with topics that you think other caves and natural attractions may find helpful. NCA Insurance Column for insurance information, news, education Surfaces When choosing a surface for any type of trail, consider the following: User acceptance and satisfaction Accessibility Cost to purchase and install materials Cost of maintaining the surface Life expectancy Availability of material Before you choose a specific trail surface, you should also consider the pros and cons of hard surfaces and soft surfaces. While hard surface trails are more accommodating, require less maintenance and can withstand frequent use; they are
also significantl y more expensive. On the other hand, soft surface trails cost less, but generally do not hold up well under heavy use or varying weather conditions. Hard Surfaces Asphalt works well for bicycle commuters and inline skaters, which is a reason it is often used in urban areas. It typically expectancy of 7 to 15 year s. Asphalt is a flexible surface that requires use to remain pliable and will last longer with heavy use. However, those installing asphalt should be conscious of the possibility of environmental contamination during construction. Concrete is usually the l ongest lasting of the hard surface materials, but it is also one of the most expensive. Well maintained concrete can last 25 years or more. The surface is appropriate for urban areas with severe climate swings and a susceptibility to flooding. However, the most. Crushed Stone is popular as a trail surface because it holds up well under heavy use and can complement the aesthetic of the natural landscape. It can also accommodate n early every trail user (with the exception of inline skaters) if crushed and compacted properly. Because crushed stone can be made of nearly any type of rock, including limestone and sandstone, it is one of the most accessible trail surface types. Soil Cem ent is a mixture of pulverized native soil, Portland cement and water, rolled and compacted into very dense surface. It is cheaper than asphalt, but drainage is very important to prevent erosion. Resin Based Stabilized Material is a tree product that binds aggregate or soil particles together. A resin based trail surface impacts the environment less than asphalt and can be cheaper. The aesthetics also better match the surrounding environment. Boardwalk is most often used as a trail surface for segments thro ugh wetlands, as it allows adequate drainage and impacts the fragile ecosystem less than other surface types. However, it can be slippery when wet and is quite expensive to install and maintain. Recycled Materials such as old rubber tires worked into concr ete on Florida's Withlacoochee State Trail, are becoming Soft Surfaces Natural Earth trail surfaces offer inexpensive maintenance costs limited primarily to fixing drainage problems, repairing eroded areas and removing vegetation. The trail can usually be built and maintained easily by staff and volunteers. Wood Chips blend well with the natural environ ment and can work well as a parallel tread for runners and equestrians next to an asphalt or concrete trail. However, the surface decomposes rapidly, cannot accommodate wheelchair use and requires constant maintenance to keep the width and surface steady. The entire surface needs replacement every two years, but maintenance and installation can be performed by almost anyone. The cost of surfacing a trail with asphalt or concrete may be prohibitive in the beginning stages of trail building. This ini tial expe softer surface like dirt or crushed stone to a harder surface like asphalt or concrete once you have secured funding. Each below and above ground trail you have as part of your operation are unique. You will need to see what works best for your operations based upon use and your past experience with slips and falls. In the 1940s, executives at 20th Century Fox had the legs of actress Betty Grable insured for $1 million each. After taking out the policies, Grable probably wished she had added a rider to protect her from injury while the insurance agents fought over who would inspect her when making a claim.
Monthly Historical Photograph Come a little closer I ve got a deal for you In this undated photo Andy Anderson of Lake Shasta Caverns represents the National Caves Association at an NTA National Tour Association gathering at Signal Mountain, TN. Take note all the information needed at the booth is carr ied in Andy s Handy D andy briefcase! Do You Have A Historical Photo To Share? If you have a picture to share, please send me a digital copy that might include people, a building, or cave scene with names and a description. Thanks, Bob Calendar of Events Tucson Gem and Mineral Shows 2017, Tucson, Arizona, January 28 February 12, 2017 NCA Mid Winter Board of Directors Meeting, Renaissance Airport Hotel, St. Louis, Missouri, February 2 6 March 1 201 7 NSS Convention 201 7 Rio Rancho, New Mexico June 19 23, 2017 The 17 th International Congress of Speleology (UIS), Sydney, Australia, July 23 29, 2017 NCA Convention 2017, Host: Mark Twain Cav e, Hannibal, Missouri, September 18 21, 2017 National Cave and Karst Management Symposium Eureka Springs, Arkansas, October 16 20, 2017 Smok y Mountain Gift Show 2017 Sevie rville, Pigeon Forge & Gatlinburg, Tennessee, (Dates TBD) IAAPA 2017, Orlando, Florida, November 14 17, 2017 Tucson Gem and Mineral Shows 201 8 Tucson, Arizona, January 27 February 1 1 201 8 NCA Mid Winter Board of Directors Meeting, Renaissance Airport Hotel, St. Louis, Missouri, February 2 6 28 201 8 The Sinkhole Conference, Shepherdstown, West Virginia, April 2 6, 2018 NSS Convention 201 8, Whitefish, Montana, July 29 August 4, 2018 NCA Convention 2018, Host: Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, Glenwood Springs, Colorado, September 24 28, 2018 ISCA 8 th Congress 2018, Genga, Italy, October (Dates TBD) Smok y Mountain Gift Show 2018 Gatlinburg, Tennessee, (Dates TBD) IAAPA 201 8 Orlando Florida, November 11 16, 2018 NCA Convention 2019, Host: Ruby Falls, Chattanooga Tennessee, (Dates TBD) Got News? Please make sure you let Bob Holt know when you have news to share with the membership regarding you and your cave. It is the goal of the NCA office to continue producing monthly issues of Cave Talk and this can only happen when you help with the sharing o f your news. Please send your articles, photographs to email@example.com January 2017 Cave Talk Deadline Please have all articles to Bob Holt no later than December 15. Thank you