Cave Talk

Cave Talk

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Cave Talk
Series Title:
Cave Talk
National Cave Association
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Subjects / Keywords:
Karst ( lcsh )
Resource management ( local )
serial ( sobekcm )


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.
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April 2017
Open Access - Permission by Publisher

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University of South Florida Library
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University of South Florida
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
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K26-05295 ( USFLDC DOI )
k26.5295 ( USFLDC Handle )

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Robert A. Holt PO Box 625, Cobleskill, NY 12043 E xecutive Director Phone: 518 231 5420 E mail: April 2016 President I hope everyone had or will have a very s uccessful spring break business Your Board of Directors were busy at the mid win ter meeting held in St. Louis this past month. Thank you to everyone who went for taking the time out of your busy schedules to attend. It was decided to delete admission pricing from the member side of the website for several reasons. It is very difficult to keep it up to date. Many years ago, there were two or three prices adult and child. Currently, different caves have different ages for child prices and have added seniors, adventure tours, military, combo tickets with outdoor activities, etc. Many of the regions reported increases in winter traffic due to mild weather. Claudia and Susan are working very hard on the convention at French Lick, Indiana. The dates are September 19th to 22nd. A proposal to fund a study on How Bats Can Become Accustomed to Human Activity in Show Caves wa s turned down. However, if anyone knows of scientific articles that have studied this, please forward the information to me ( ). Brad Wuest reported that ISCA will be traveling to Oman this year. Adventure tourism is the main focus. OFFICERS President : Patty Perlaky Raccoon Mt. Caverns, TN Ph: 423 821 9403 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 Past President : Steve Rawlings Mercer Caverns, CA Ph: 209 728 2101 REGIONAL DIRECTORS Region One : (CT, DE, ME, MA, NH, NJ, NY, PA, RI, VT) Rob Arey Polar Caves Park NH Ph: 603 536 1888 Region Two : (MD, VA, WV, KY) Denise Bell Seneca Caverns, OH Ph: 419 483 6711 Region Three : (IL, IN, MI, OH) Claudia Yundt Squire Boone Caverns, IN Ph: 812 732 4382 Region Four : (AR, IA, KS, MO, NE) Dennis Boyer War Eagle Cavern, AR Ph: 479 789 2909 Region Five : (MN, MT, ND, SD, WI) Tom Hagen Rushmore Cave, SD Ph: 60 5 255 4467 Region Six : (CA, ID, NV, OR, WA, AK, HI, Barbados, Bermuda) Matt Doyle Lake Shasta Caverns, CA Ph: 800 795 CAVE Region Seven : (AZ, CO, NM, UT, WY) Steve Beckley Glenwood Caverns, CO Ph: 970 945 4CAV Region Eight : (LA, OK, TX) Ed Mayfield Caverns of Sonora, TX Ph: 325 387 3105 Region Nine : (AL, FL, GA, MS, NC, SC, TN ) Tim Lacy DeSoto Caverns Park AL Ph: 256 378 7252 D IRECTOR EMERITUS Steve Runkle Cave of the Winds, CO Ph: 719 685 5444


The econometric survey was emailed on February 22, 2016. It was emailed by Sukjoon Yoon and re sent to those who have not responded. PLEASE take the time to complete this. The information from this study has been ver y helpful in the past with issues such as WNS and signage in Missouri. Some important things to know before you start: 1. All responses are confidential. Neither the NCA or the graduate student doing the study sees any of the individual cave informatio n. It all goes into a computer and only the ranges of answers are printed. 2. It is best to sit down with your 2015 year end financials to complete the survey. 3. It is not possible to skip an answer and come back to it. You can only go forward. If you have trouble with the survey or would like to print out a pdf and fill in the answers before sitting at your computer, please call it down with a copy of your 2015 financials it will not take much time to complet e with the information beside you! If you do not have the email from Sukjoon, please let Bob Holt know so another can be sent. The NCA recently received a letter from Tom Aley (Ozark underground Laboratory) about a letter he received from the National In stitute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) regarding radon. As spring is here and many are hiring summer help, now is the perfect time to take out your radon binder, look through it and update it!!! Every time I look at mine, I silently thank Steve Runkle and Steve Thompson for all the hard work and countless volunteer hours they dedicated to making sure it was an easy program to follow. Please note that although the NCA removed the radon requirement for membership, the standards were NOT rejected. KEEP YOUR BOOK UP TO DATE! Our Marketing Committee gave us a proposal to join the American Bus Association. Membership fees were waived for the first year in exchange for our member list. We thought this would be a great way to promote our caves across the US. If anyone needs penny books, Bob has a big stack of them! We decided to reduce them half price from $1.80 a book to 90 cents and you pay the shipping. ORDER TODAY Much time was spent on insurance..... you will find a separate article in this CT issue A special thank you to Les and Judy Turilli the Board visited Meramec Caverns and got a special treat of visiting with Les and Judy and their beautiful cave and facility on their anniversary!! Have a wonderful and prosperous month! Patty Perlaky President Pay Up! Matt Doyle was not treating Steve Runkle for by Mr. Doyle and the Denver Broncos shirt Mr. Runk le is wearing was a reminder! Shelly Runkle witnesses the transaction.


Bridal Cave's "Bright" Future Our New LED Lighting The maintenance department at Thunder Mountain Park has been hard at work completing a year long project to enhance your view of one of America's most scenic cave tours Bridal Cave is now the first major show cave in the Midwest to be lit entirely by LED lighting. Finding the right lights The first step in this major renovation was to test a variety of LED bulbs to find the ones that showed the cave in the best possible light. They had to be tested for physical size, lumens, and most importantly, color te mperature LED's are known for their harsh white light, so the correct temperature of the bulb became a high priority. Dozens of bulbs went through our testing process, and the winner was the 2700 degree LED bulb. These highlight the cave's already vibrant colors in the most flattering way. One of the guides that have been with us for a long time stated, "I have never seen the cave so beautiful! It is like exploring a whole new cave." Installation Once we decided on the perfect bulbs, the real hard work started. It was no small task to install over 1,800 light bulbs, 100 remote controlled switches times 10, and up to 5 miles of wiring throughout Bridal Cave. The passageways of the cave were built by nature, not man, so they are not necessarily easy to access, especially with big equipment. 50 foot ladders were the tallest size that we could fit in there, but various rooms in the cave have 80 foot tall ceilings. The only way to reach the top is to free climb after you get to the top of the ladder! The underground lake sections are even more difficult to maneuver. Those ceiling heights reach over 1 00 feet. They can only be reached by free climbing one wall to a ladder bridge across the lakes to reach the opposing wall. Not a job for the faint of heart! Final s teps Once each old bulb was replaced with a new LED one, it was pointed to highlight th e cave's magnificent formations. We constructed "light shields" to keep the cave's appearance as natural as possible. These block the views of the bulbs from the public. Concrete was used to hide all of the wiring needed to make this project happen. A mixt ure of 5 colored sands were then blended to match the cave walls and placed over the concrete. See the cave for the first time... again! The new LED lighting will give you a brand new perspective and appreciation for the Lake of the Ozarks' best family attraction The natural beauty that you have admired during your past trips to Bridal Cave is now even better than before. Your next tour through the cave will feel like you are truly seeing it for the first time... again! Steve Thompson Bridal Cave


Kirk Hansen of Fantastic Caverns Receives Ambassador Award Most of you probably have not met Kirk Hansen, as he has been our public relations director with Fantastic Caverns s ince the mid 19 70's so he is no stranger to the cave business. We recently attended the 2016 Salute To Tourism Banquet where Kirk was honored with the Ambassador A ward. This award is presen ted to individuals who generated a significant economic impact for the area by working to encourage tourism in Springfield, Mo. I would like to tha nk Kirk for all he done for us and the whole cave industry. Thanks and Congratulations Kirk Doug Campbell Fantastic Caverns WNS Report WNS has been confirmed in Minnesota at the Lake Vermillion Soudan Underground Mine State Park. Several hundred bats were found dead at the entrance to the mine. Blue Blood Brewery is building a brewery, restaurant and taproom around Robber's Cave in Lincoln, Nebraska. They plan to give tours of the c ave but will avoid a section where northern long eared bats have been found. Researchers at UC Santa Cruz have found that Asian bats have natural resistance to WNS. They also found infection intensity varies from species to species. Patty Perlaky WNS Ch air Natural Bridge Caverns Mystery On March 18 Brian Vauter of Natural Bridge Caverns reports on Facebook : Our Icee machine got shanked in the night Code Blue Raspberry! We think members of the rival Slurpee gang may have been involved. The two have been at it for years. From left to right: Lincoln Hugh, MO State Rep 140th District; Kirk Hansen; Sonya Murray Anderson, MO State Rep 131st District; and Doug Campbell.


NCA Buyers Group: Out With the Old and In With the N ew! Last month, Jody wrote about sprucing up your retail space to keep it fresh and ready for company. Now that your gift shop is looking all that new inventory headed our way! Reviewing your inventory is a great place to start. What sold well last year? Did you need to re order an item or is it time to move on? While having a sales plan that includes markdowns for faster sell through may already be in place, old inventory can start to pile up This, in turn, can start to make your shop look stale and outdated. Spring cleaning is the perfect excuse to reduce excess inventory. chose not to reorder a garment from the previous season, the leftovers are marked 25% off to make room for new items and know it makes a great Facebook post. By doing so, you will reduce your excess inventory while opening your budget for merchandise that brings new life and revenue to your store. Of course, there are exceptions to every rule. Sometimes you need to get a little creative a nd reinvent your old stock. Consider bundle packaging with other items to re whittling down extra inventory. Part of the grab bag allure is the not knowing what you and the hope for a surprise. Just make sure that every bag has a retail value that matches its price level and contains products tailored to the intended recipient. temptation to hang on to all of your old clearance items until they are finally sold may time to say goodbye. This goes double for perishables even if th ey do end up want to give customers the impression that you are willing to hold on to ancient candy just to make a sale. creative, sales April Hagen Rush Mountain Adventure Park Home of Rushmore Cave Are We At The Right Place? As seen on Facebook, the Beckler Family ( Natural Stone Bridge and Caves Park ) were vacationing in Florida and called on Denise Bell ( Seneca Caverns, Ohio ) at her winter home. They knew they reached the right place when they found this sign by her front door!


Convention 2016 Start Preparing! get a little bit of information to everyone so you can plan your transportation to Indiana. Southern Indiana has four NCA member caves and we want to make sure you have a chance to see all four. Below is a rough time line you might want to look at, if you want to see all four caves. Flying to the convention? There are two choices: Indianapolis, IN and Louisville, KY. Louisville is a bit closer. convention. Sept. 18, 2016 Fly or drive in on Sunday evening or early Monday morning. Sept. 19, 2016 Bluespring Caverns would love for you to come and visit in th e morning! Vendor Show is 10:00am 6:00pm. Sept. 20, 2016 Convention begins agenda is being planned now. Sept. 21, 2016 Indiana Caverns in the morning. Lunch on our town square. Squire Boone Caverns in the afternoon/evening (includes dinner and squ are dancing!) Sept. 22, 2016 Convention continues details to come. Go out and get your outfit!!!!!! Sept. 23, 2016 Marengo Cave is preparing for your visit! Cavern tours available all day. Sept. 23 or 24 th Fly or drive home the afternoon of the 23 rd or the morning of the 24 th Susan and Bob are working feverishly to get all the ducks in a row and preparing for a wonderful convention. Jim (Bluespring Caverns), Gordon and Steve (Marengo Cave), Gary (Indiana Caverns) and my crew (Squire Boone Caverns) are all getting ready for your visit. hesitate to throw me an e mail. We have great wineries in our area and if you want to go just a tiny bit south there is the Bourbon Trail! Claudia Yundt Squire Boone Caverns Cave Without A Name Finds Unusual Bat Tom Summers from Cave Without A Name posted on Facebook this peculiar looking guy which found its way into the cave. Tom says this unique bat is tricolor, almost albino.


International Happi ness Day At Jewel Cave National Monument In the Spirit of International Happiness Day on March 20 Working in collaboration with the NPS International Affairs Office in Washington DC, the Monument recently hosted a delegation of professional cavers from Korea. Dr. Kyung Sik Woo, President of the International Union of Speleology, visited Jewel Cave with about 25 Korean cavers and owners of private caves. The visit offered some exceptional networking about resource management, public programming and services, tour rout e safety, etc. Although we could not communicate directly with each participant, the interpretation between groups was an amazing experience ... with smiles and laughter often signaling "agreement." To say the least, it was a lively day of sharing best pract ices within the international caving community. A JCNM Facebook post. Update On Carlsbad Caverns Elevators Carlsbad Caverns National Park awarded a contract for repairs to the park's secondary elevators, which will restore elevator service to the park. Supplied Industrial Solutions out of Granite City, Illinois, was awarded the $235,965 contract. Work is expected to begin April 11 and be finished by Memorial Day weekend. Work will include lead paint abatement and coatings, the installation o f 12 structural steel beams and six angle beams and safety inspections, a news release said. The secondary elevators have been out since last summer. Since the passenger elevators went out of service in November, there has been no elevator service at the C averns, making them inaccessible to the handicapped. Do You Have Your Supply For The Season? A little over 700 brochures fit in a flat rate box for easy shipping. This is a great way to advertise your cave and the entire NCA membership. Let Bob know how many boxes you would like sent. View the digital version at: NCA Brochure 1.pdf


Upcoming NCA Insurance Webinar Are You Prepared for a Business Income/ Extra Expense Loss? April 28, 2016 at 11:00 AM Central for this one hour webinar on this very important insurance webinar. Whatever type of property loss you experience whether it is from a n atural disaster, a fire caused by a deep fryer or a salmonella outbreak, you are almost assured of having a full or partial shutdown of your operations. Although we only often think of the actual property or contents damage, one very rarely thinks about th eir exposures of a loss of income because you had to close or the extra expense incurred to get your business back up and running. As part of the NCA Insurance Program and our 2016 focus on Crisis Management, we are offering all NCA members a one hour web inar on the topic of Business Interruption and Extra Expense (BI/EE). Please join Keith and Pat on April 28 th 11:00 AM Central for this timely topic. Webinar participants will learn the following: The basics of BI/EE insurance coverage The coverage nuisances that make a BI/EE policy more robust and provide the best protection Is this an automatic coverage provided by insurance companies or not? How to determine adequate limits needed for your BI/EE exposures What is Civil Authority coverage and ho w it relates to BI/EE The importance of a partnership with a business continuity and claims restoration company before disaster strikes The details of the FREE Assurance/Pro Insurance Service Master Business Continuity assessment and how it works in the event of a disaster or claim Detailed log in information will be provided two weeks prior to the event. If you have any questions, please contact Keith Dobrolinsky at 847 463 655 5444. If you have a recent experience of a BI /EE loss that you would like to share with the group, please let us know.


NCA Alternative Risk Financing Program Update & Next Steps After over eighteen months of researching the possibility of creating an alternative insurance program, we are coming into the homestretch with several insurance companies bringing to the NCA and all its members a competitive and comprehensive solution to help each cave reduce its overall cost of risk. By early summer, we will have a number of options to off er all association members. The new program will be more than a traditional insurance option and one that provides for a profit sharing component based upon our overall great loss experience. At the Mid W inter meeting in St. Louis, MO, we held a meeting to discuss the program and to hear presentations from a number of insurance companies. Please find below the next steps in the process. Prepare a list of updated items needed by all project participants. We have been working with the most recent renewal data from 44 interested caves. Some updates will need to be made on a case by case basis. The good news is that this is the last time we will be requesting additional information and all participating caves will receive alternative program quotes! Pat and Nadine will collect any needed updates from the current members. Keith will reach out to all newly interested members. Work on the strategies that will be pursued by the association for growing participation. These include from current NCA members to strategies that utilize the new alternative insurance program as an incentive for other caves and affiliates to join the NCA which also helps the association grow. This can include other natural attractions in the USA and international show caves. A total of fourteen carriers were approached and unfortunately many decl ined due to geographic, exposure and underwriting restrictions. We currently have 4 carriers that are competing to provide us with an alternative Submi t updated underwriting data and submission to selected carriers. Continue to have discussions with American Specialty, Great America and other carriers. These carriers were late to the dance and still considering whether or not to participate. Based upon carrier proposal dates, determine the time and place for a final proposal. Tentatively, we will have our final proposal meeting in Chicago in early June. Prior to Memorial Day, we will begin efforts to reach out to the other twenty seven caves who did no t take part in the initial feasibility study to see if they have interest in receiving a quote. A special thank you goes out to Chairman Brad Wuest and all members of the NCA Insurance Committee and the Alternative Risk Financing Steering Committee for their tireless efforts in moving this project forward. We also appreciate the continued interest and involvement of NCA President Patty Perlaky and the NCA Board of Directors.


Monthly Historical Photo Exclamation Point Glenwood Caverns, Colorado Historic circa 1900 black and white photo of three fashionable young people on high up the side of the Rocky Mountains overlookin g the vast Roaring Fork Valley. Photo courtes y of the Frontier Historical Society, Glenwood Springs, Colorado, Schutte Collection Do You Have A Historical Photo To Share? Now that our 50 th I would like to continue this column to include a photo from our member caves. 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 NCKRI DeepKarst Conference 2016, Carlsbad, New Mexico, April 11 14, 2016 NSS Convention 2016, Ely, Nevada, July 17 23, 2016 NCA Convention 2016, Host: Squire Boone Caverns, French Lick, Indiana, September 19 23, 2016 Smok y Mountain Gift Show 201 6 Seviervi lle, Tennessee, November 1 4, 2016; Pigeon Forge & Gatlinburg, Tennessee, November 2 5, 2016 IAAPA 2016, Orlando, Florida, November 15 18 2016 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 (Dates TBD) NCA Convention 2017, Host: Mark Twain Cav e, Hannibal, Missouri (Dates TBD ) 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 NSS Convention 201 8, Montana, (Location & Dates TBD) NCA Convention 2018 Host: Racoon Mountain Caverns, Chattanooga, Tennessee, (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: Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, Glenwood Springs, Colorado (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 May 2016 Cave Talk Deadline Please have all articles to Bob Holt no later than April 15. Thank you


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