Cave Talk

Cave Talk

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Cave Talk
Series Title:
Cave Talk
National Cave Association
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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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October 2016
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K26-05300 ( USFLDC DOI )
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Robert A. Holt PO Box 625, Cobleskill, NY 12043 E xecutive Director Phone: 518 231 5420 E mail: October 2016 Convention Wrap Up What a wonderful convention! Monday started with a pre convention trip to Blue Springs Caverns Sheryl had homemade cakes, crackers, cheese, breads and pudding with local apple cider a nd coffee ready for all of us. On the boat ride, we saw crawfish in the water and frogs on the banks. On an upper level, they have bunk beds for overnight groups. The gift shop is lovely, too After the tour, it was off to the vendor show representatives from 21 companies were there, followed by the Opening Reception. OFFICERS President : Patty Perlaky Cave Without A Name, TX Ph: 830 537 4212 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 ) Lisa McClung Lost Sea, TN Ph: 423 337 6616 D IRECTOR EMERITUS Steve Runkle Cave of the Winds, CO Ph: 719 685 5444


Monday night we had our opening reception sponsored by Sandy Creek Mining Company. It was the time to great old friends and welcome our first timers to the Association. Tuesday started with a very helpful presentation on Disaster Training, with a special presentation by Les and Judy Turilli of Meramec Caverns with the details of their flooding last year and dealing with FEMA, followed by air quality problems due to chemical dumping seven miles away. It is my understanding that sample completed plans will be on the member s side of the websi te within a few weeks. After lunch, we had the Round Table, where everyone tells of the going on at their cave over the past year. In general, business was up throughout the country. The regional reports are posted on the member side of the website for all the details. After din n er, we had a Cracker Barrel where we discussed new payroll laws, handicap and service dog access, and several other topics.


Wednesday was Cave Day! We started at Indiana Caverns, whose tour is part walking (always on elevated walkways your feet never touch the ground) and boat tour. It was amazing. The gift shop and grounds are beautiful. We had lunch in the square in Corydon and visited the shops there, with a demonstration of glass blowing.


Those who got to Squire Boone Caverns quickly were able to sign up for zip lines and had a great time. The new ly reopened passage was opened this day and NCA members were the first to take the new route. The rimstone pools are gorgeous. After the tour, we visited the candle and soap making shops and the rock shop. After a delicious BBQ (with homemade sauce) dinner, we were treated to square dancing demonstrations and lessons. Claudia graced up by wearing a square dance skirt!


On Thursday, Keith and Pat gave the Alternative Insurance Presentation, naming Lloyd's of London as the preferred insurer for the NCA. Keith and Pat will be contacting individual caves about the changes and rates are expected to be the same or less than last year and Lloyd's is offering a generous loss control bonus. (Watch for more information in the November issue of Cave Talk) Matt Doyle and Ed Mayfield g ave an excellent presentation on Social Media everything from Google Trends and Google Alerts to Snapchat, Facebook and Pinterest. Use th ese link s to view the presentation : Matt & Ed Show Matt & Ed Show Keynote File At the business meeting, ISCA was presented by Brad Wuest. Next year's convention will be in Hannibal, Missouri, hosted by Mark Twain Cave. Thank you, Linda Coleberd and staff Thanks to Claudia and Chip who invited the board to their home and farm for a cook out. A new calf was born and Claudia Definitely the best part of the convention is the opportunity to visit with friends and network with each other. We have a wonderful group of people who are very willing to share their knowledge and are very supportive. Thank you everyone!


The Closing Banquet's theme was "Flashback to the 70's" and most dressed the part! Awards went to Jody Gertson of Talking Rocks Cavern for category for her article in the March 2016 Cave Talk titled Rick Conway owner of Squire Boone Caverns and Village received an award for his many years of outstanding contribution s to the NCA The very special honor of the evening was the Barbara Munson Award which went to Claudia Yundt (Volunteer Extra ordinaire) for her tireless dedication to the NCA. (See related story in this issue of Cave Talk)


The post convention trip was to Marengo Cave where the first tour was given by Gordon Smith himself. Gordon and Judy have a very beautiful cave, gift shop, snack bar (they provided lots of snacks for us after the tour) and hiking trails.


We must give a s pecial thank you to our sponsors Without them, the cost of attending a convention would cost you, the individual attendees a lot more. : Sandy Creek Mining Company for the Opening Reception Landway International for the Tuesday morning bre ak Driftstone Pueblo for the Tuesday afternoon break IGES for lunch on Wednesday Village Originals for lunch on Thursday Pat O'Sullivan, Pro Insurance Services, Inc and Keith Dobrolinsky, Assurance Agency, LTD for the Closing Banquet. Definitely the best part of the convention is the opportunity to visit with friends and network with each other. We have a wonderful group of people who are very willing to share their knowledge and are very supportive. Thank you everyone! Patty Perlaky President Squire Boone Caverns director & owner recognized at NCA convention Claudia Yundt, Director at Squire Boone Caverns, worked tirelessly to organize and plan the National Cave Association Convention for the past year, but was pleasantly surprised when she was awarded with a prestigious award at the closing banquet. Over 100 cave owners and operators traveled to Southern Indiana last week for the National Cave Association's (NCA) annual convention. Hosted by a different cave every year, this year was hosted by local show cave, Squire Boone Caverns. Yundt spent the week putting her plans in action. The week was filled with cave business, but also a little fun at French Lick Casino & Resort and a slew of activities throughout Southern Indiana. However, the one night she was looking forward to the most was the closing ceremony, where she would see her colleagues dressed in throwback 70's cos tume and to celebrate the end of a great convention. Little did she know, her peers had plans to make sure she was recognized for her hard work and dedication. As the convention drew to a close, the Executive Director of the NCA, Bob Holt, be gan the tradition of distributing awards. He began to read: "As you all know, the Barbara Munson award is the highest honor that NCA awards. This year, we'd like to, in recognition of tradition, give the Barbara Munson award to this person for her many ye ars of outstanding service to the association. As Chairperson Supreme of the Retail Committee; as taker of questions, simple and complicated; as seeker of answers to questions, simple and complicated; as disseminator of all manner of information to membership, from the very important to the 'just wanted to give you a heads up'. For her tireless efforts of organizing the vendor show; as volunteer extraordinaire, for all those times when you were tired, exhausted and needed some rest but still kept bur ning the candle at both ends. And, for the countless hours she has generously given to this association, the National Cave Association is proud to present the Barbara Surprised, shocked and overwhelmed, Yundt tearfully accepted the award to a standing ovation before addressing the crowd: "I had the honor of knowing Barbara Munson and I think she was one of the main reasons that made me fall in love with this group. She loved you all and she helped Claudia Yundt, left, is recognized by the NCA. Join ing her is Patty Perlaky, NCA President and Bob Holt, NCA Executive Director


me love you all as much as she did." Yundt said. "So to get this award is just incredible because she was such a wonderful lady and for you all to say I was at her caliber, oh my gosh. Thank you, thank you, I really appreciate Munson, a longtime NCA Coordinator, is highly regarded within the organization and passed a few years ago, but her legacy live s on. Earlier in the evening, Squire Boone Village and Squire Boone Caverns President, Rick Conway, was also surprised with a Special Recognition Award. "The Committee decided to honor Rick for his dedication to the NCA, for all he has done as an owner of a well respected cave," Holt said. "Rick serves dual purposes to the NCA as cave owner and a supplier/vendor to us. Many of our members use Squire Boone for their retail needs and because of his dedication to the show cave industry, we found it fitting to honor him this year Conway, who's focus has been on growing and building his other company, Squire Boone Village (wholesale provider of souvenirs, candy, gifts and jewelry), was both honored and proud. "I knew Claudia was being recog n ized and couldn't wait because she deserves it so much," Conway said. "But, to have Squire Boone Village awarded, too, makes this a v ery special night. A lot of these people are our customers and it means the world But the night would belong to Claudia. Her touch could be seen all around, simply because so many members foll owed her mandate to come prepared for a 70's theme. "When she said 'you are to get a costume for our closing banquet night, we are having a 70's theme', we thought she was crazy," Holt continued. "who wants to do that? Well, with her persistence, it happe ned. It was the best social event we have had in years. We And so goes the standard reaction to meeting, working and knowing Claudia Yundt. One would be hard pressed to find a more respected, revered and admired person and a ny who have had the pleasure to meet her would likely strongly agree. One of the many highlights from the convention was the unveiling of a new section of cave at Squire Boone Caverns that NCA members were able to tour. As only the second group to see the new section of the cave (Squire Boone employees were treated to a sneak peak earlier in the summer), convention members were amazed at the work that was unveiled. The new section will officially open to the public in 2017, but select groups who visit betw een now and spring will be taken through the new section as a soft opening. "We've been working on this nonstop for 6 years, three years of planning and three years of construction" Yundt shared. "We've got big things planned for the grand opening next year!" It looks like Claudia still has more candles to burn. Carrie Transue Squire Boone Caverns thanks to all for sharing via Facebook Rick Conway receives award


Roaring into the twenties: Ruby Falls exp a nds into its second century Ruby Falls has revealed plans of expansion on Wednesday, September 14 that will make it the most modern tourist attraction in the area as it begins a multi phased building project in 2017. Roaring into the twenties, Ruby Falls plans to break ground on construction i n January, completing two of six phases in 2018, with additional development totaling more than $20 million continuing 100 th anniversary comes in 2028, bringing with it a beautiful reimagining of a beloved historical site. of town all and history cannot change, Ruby Falls is growing as a world class facility that will bridge our heritage into its second century. One primary goal of this investment is to provide an efficient and comfortable place where guests can enjoy relaxing and h The highlights of phases one and two include updated parking, ticketing, retail, restrooms, office space and a new entrance lobby, intended to improve queue lines for the cave tour and the overall guest experienc e. In addition, there will be a pedestrian mall and enhanced observation of the city. making this investment that gives visitors one more reason to president and chief executive officer of the Chattanooga Convention and Visitors Bureau. incredible job of bridging the gap between historic and modern. Great cities and great companies are always looking ahead and this is another example of how our community is doing that. Congratulations to Ruby Falls for continuing to make the Best Town Ever even better. The latest tourism statistics show that visitors spent more than $1 billion dollars in Hamilton County which supports 8,500 full time jobs in the tourism indus natural Ruby Falls has played host to millions of visitors since its first tour in 193 0 and has long been a family favorite for generations. Ruby Falls is home to viewing. It features a 145 foot waterfall located 1,120 feet beneath the surface of Lookout Mou ntain in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Go to for more.


PGAV Destinations is a global leader in the planning and design of unique destinations. Now entering its sixth decade, the practice has evolved to become the ideal destination consulting partner, skilled at developing growth oriented master plans and trans lating those plans into successful projects. No other firm offers such an integrated approach to destination planning. Companies, Bass Pro Shops, Universal S tudios and many others. Recent assignments include the Grand Canyon, Space Shuttle Atlantis and the Georgia Aquarium. Visit Phases 1 and 2: New Entran ce Lobby and Ticketing Experience Dedicated Guest Locker Area New Elevator and Staircase for 3 rd Level Access New Outdoor Observation Platform at 3 rd Level Expanded Retail and Relocated Photo Retail Expanded Cave Tour Batching & Queue New Outdoor Plaza Are a Improved Pedestrian Access to New Ticket Lobby Renovated and Expanded Guest Restroom Facilities Improved Staff Circulation (back of house space) Area for Future Staff Offices/Operations Additional Parking Unusual place for USGS at Carlsbad Caverns Here is something you don't see every day, an elevation United States Geological Survey ( USGS ) marker is at the bottom of our elevator shaft at 754 feet below the surface but still 3,652 feet above sea level. For those of us that are used to finding these at the top of mountain peaks, it is evidence of just how upside down the cave world is. NPS photo by Brian Whitehea d Lisa McClung appointed NCA Board of Director for Region 9 During the Board of Directors meeting on September 18 at the Indiana Convention, t he board appointed Lisa Presley McClung, Manager of The Lost Sea Adventure in Tennessee to the board representing Region 9 which includes (AL, FL, GA, MS, NC, SC, TN) She replaces Tim Lacy who resigned earlier this year.


Cross promotion among Missouri C aves Association Doug Campbell of Fantastic Caverns assisted Chris Gertson of Talking Rocks Cavern in setting up the newest kiosk at Talking Rocks Cavern to cross promote their caves and other Missouri Caves Association members. Brenda Sue Rush passes Our deepest s ympathy is extended to Steve Rush (Mystic Caverns) and family on the s wife Brenda Sue on September 11, 2016. Brenda was born June 8, 1961, in Tulsa, to Sid and Norma (Rushing) Thomason. She was the third of three daughters, Jewel Dean Ainsworth of Canon City, Colorado, and Virginia Lee "Ginger" Barnes, who preceded her in death in 2006. She attended various schools, graduating from Smoky Hill High School, Aurora, Colorado, in 1979. Brenda was a gifted flutist and studied in Nice, France, under Rampal. She attended colleges in New York, Colorado and Wyoming. After moving to Harrison in 1993, Brenda met the love of her life, Steve Rush and married shortly thereafter. Brenda and Steve are the parents of two daughters, Abigail Sydney, 18, and Ella Grace, 14. Brenda worked at Ron Hutchcraft Ministries for 10 years, thereby continuing her commitment to Christ. Services w ere held at 10 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 15, at Coffman Funeral Home Chapel in Harrison, AR with Heath Kirkpatrick and Ron Hutchcraft officiating. Burial follow ed at Maple Leaf Ce metery.


WNS Report US Forest Service has a public comment period until September 12th regarding gating Hubbard Cave, near Glenwood Springs. The purpose would be to protect the bats from WNS. It is an important hibernaculum for big eared bats. Meanwhile, caves at Kentucky's Carter Caves State Resort Park will reopen as officials have determined there was no benefit in keeping both Laurel and Horn Hollow Caves closed for WNS. Permits are required. A colony of about 300 healthy females and pups was found in Nova Scotia. They had estimated that 90% of the bats in that province had been lost to WNS last year. Patty Perlaky WNS Chair Monthly Historical Photograph Russ & Jeanne Gurnee (1980) Authors of the Gurnee Guide to American Show Caves 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 cav e scene with names and a description. Thanks, Bob Calendar of Events Smok y Mountain Gift Show 201 6 Sevierville, Tennessee, November 1 4, 2016; Pigeon Forge & Gatlinburg, Tennessee, November 2 5, 2016 ISCA Conference 2016. Oman, November 6 12, 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 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 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 N CA office to continue producing monthly issues of Cave Talk and this can only happen when you help with the sharing of your news. Please send your articles, photographs to November 2016 Cave Talk Deadline Please have all articles to Bob Holt no later than October 15. Thank you


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