Robert A. Holt PO Box 625, Cobleskill, NY 12043 E xecutive Director Phone: 518 231 5420 E mail: email@example.com www.cavern.com November 2016 Are you prepared for a crisis event? convention, representatives of Emergency Planning Solutions, LLC made a presentation on the need for crisis management plans and went through the steps necessary for cave owners to develop their own plan. A special thank you is extended to L es and Judy Turilli for sharing their recent experience with two major crisis events that played havoc on their cave this past year. In addition, a big thank you goes out sponsoring the very informative presentat ion (Thanks for the popcorn too!) No matter how large or small your cave operation is, no one is immune to the destruction and loss of income caused by crisis events. The floods and pollution issu es faced by Merame c Caverns and other s in Missouri, the recent results of Hurricane Mathew and the storms in the Northwest have all played havoc on the operations of many tourist attractions. And, these are just those caused by Mother Nature, what about such crisis events as cave collapse, los t guests, salmonella outbreak and the threat of both foreign and domestic terrorists? Will you be prepared in the event of a crisis event? The NCA Insurance Committee with chair Brad Wuest has worked with our broker partners to educate our members on how t o respond to crisis events. You may view Multi Hazzard Emergency Planning For Caves presentation that was used at the c onvention. In additi on, please find a questionnaire for each cave to complete Emergency Preparedness Survey to see how their current plan stacks up. Plans are underway for addit ional webinars on the topic. In addition, the services of Emergency Planning Solutions, LLC are available to help each cave member evaluate their current plan. For those submitting their current plans for review, EPS will make recommendations for improveme nt. Any continued work to help a member develop their own tailor made plan or to conduct a special training program are available for a nominal fee for all and at a discounted rate for current NCA Insurance Program members. To get started, please send you r current plan for review to Keith Dobrolinsky at firstname.lastname@example.org Bob Holt 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
Sea Lion Caves closes for two months to replace 55 year old elevators If you've ever been to Sea Lion Caves, you're familiar with the elevator. Descending through 208 feet of rock, travelling at 250 feet per minute, the old elevator has carried masses of visitors 23 at a time down to the famed sea cave on the central Oregon coast. Now, after 55 years the iconic elevator will be history, replaced by a newer, more efficient model that will close down the Sea Lion Caves from Oct. 3 to Nov. 20 for installation, barring unforeseen complications. The original project which replaced a wooden stairway on the outside of the cave took three years to complete, as crews blasted and excavated the tunnel during seasons when the sea lions were away. Finally, in 1961, the elevator opened to the public. The replacement, an Otis Gen2 elevator, will use coated steel belts instead of steel cables, and should be much more energy efficient, though it will still take the same amount of time to get down to the cave. It will still feature the lighted buttons t hat show how far the elevator has descended, but it will now play an audio message as it goes, telling visitors about the history of the cave. "It's just due for an upgrade," general manager Boomer Wright said of the elevator. "It's time to have something that's much more dependable." The elevator has performed reliably over the last half century, he said, but it's come to the point where replacement parts are nearly impossible to come by. A few years ago, new circuit boards had to be made from scratch. The new elevator will alleviate some of those headaches, and should last at least another 30 years. While management in the 1960s raised admission drastically after the elevator installation, prices should stay the same this time around. Admission to the lowe r walkways over the Pacific Ocean will be free while the cave is closed. The seven week project will once again be done as the sea lions have left for the season. They should return by December, when they'll gather inside the cave until the weather gets w arm enough to sun on nearby rocks. Crews aim to have the new elevator in operation by the Sunday before Thanksgiving, though they'll have to contend with fall weather on the Oregon coast, which tends to be wet and windy. That risk will be worth it, as the new technology will bring the Sea Lion Caves into the 21 st century. "We want to make sure that we have something here that we don't have to worry about," Boomer said. "It's time." Jamie Hale The Oregonian
Searing hot, windy or entirely made of ice caves have many different climates (Thanks to John & Rod Graves who submitted this Washington Post news story that promoted caves this past summer) of year when we descend into our cool basements and neighborhood pool. But there are other kinds of caves with s imilarly cool climates that, at the very least, might encourage you to get out of the house. Everyone thinks that caves are chilly and damp, but there are actually many different types of cave climates. Some are windy, some can be boiling hot, and yet others are completely made of ice. Luray Caverns in Virginia a two hour drive west of Washington is 167 feet below the surface and a constant, cool 58 degrees. Wind Cave in South Dakota is known to unlike many cave climates that are static. Air moves from high pressure to low pressure, so when the barometric pressure outside the cave drops because of an approaching storm, air rushes outside of the cav e to equalize itself. As the storm moves away and high pressure builds outside, the reverse happens and air rushes back into the cave. In extreme cases, wind speeds can hit 70 mph. Perhaps one of the most bizarre cave climates on Earth is found in the Cue va de los Cristales (Cave of Crystals) in Mexico. In this deep cave 980 feet below the surface, air temperatures can hit 136 degrees and humidity can top 90 percent. The cave gets its name from the giant, science fiction like crystals of gypsum that form; one has been measured at 39 feet long, 12 feet in diameter and weighing an estimated 55 tons. only about 10 minutes in the cave. In 2006, It alian scientists were able to document portions of the cave by wearing refrigerated suits. But this cave will soon be inaccessible the chambers will fill with water when the nearby underground gold and silver mine shuts off the water pumps that make the cave accessible. While most caves develop underground in formations of limestone, others form in the belly of glaciers. Some of the largest in University of Ruhr Bochum in Germany, a world expert on cave climatology. Pflitsch is part of a team of scientists studying what the atmospheric conditions are like inside these rarely seen icy cold cave environments. They want to understand how hot and abundant the glacier meltwater is, what impact steam has on the temperature of the caves and how it changes over the seasons, and what the wind currents are and how they affect the shape of the ice caverns (wind ablates and re contours the walls of ice). We still have several weeks of meteorological summer to go. So to beat the heat, go subterranean and cool off in a cave. John Hopewell The Washington Post (John Hopewell has worked at the National Center for Atmospheric Research and the Mount Washington Observatory, "home of the world's worst weather." He received a B.S. in physical geography from Montana State University and a M.A. with a focus on environment and development from the University of Amsterdam.) Luray Caverns in Virginia is a constant, cool 58 degrees. (Karen Bleier/AFP/GettyImages)
A remarkable first year for Iron Mountain H ot Springs in business at the Iron Mountain Hot Springs. The past couple of years have been a whirlwind of activity, especially when you think about the fact that two years ago there was nothing visible here but weeds and gravel. accomplished. What started as an idea sketched out on napkins over lunch the hard work and dedication of every person on our team. Building a hot springs destination is no easy task, and we certainly encountered some challenges along the way. Just imagine digging holes and pouring concrete for 18 pools on the bank of a river during mud season. In addition to the he number of soaking pools from eight to 16. Richard Nash, general contractor for the construction, kept everything moving along despite the changes that we made along the way. Learning how to work with mineral water has been a challenge as well. We comb ine water from three sources and cool it down to a variety of temperatures as it is channeled out to different pools. The water is constantly flowing so that each add any chemicals to the water. The outcome is worth all of the effort, though, and our first year was a success. There was a learning curve as there is d additions. The first upgrade was to replace all of the keyed locks on the lockers with key pads. Now, our customers can choose their own four digit PINs without having to worry about keeping track of, and returning, the keys. As our attendance grew, so d id the need for more space in the locker rooms. We started working with the architect to come up with plans last fall. Construction started during the winter and was completed in time for Memorial Day weekend. bled in size, providing private dressing rooms, additional seating and more elbow room. t his summer. The Sand Bar, which opened during the Fourth of July weekend, serves all of the drinks that are available in the Sopris Caf along with some grab and go snacks. The response has been overwhelmingly positive. We were particularly proud to win t thank them enough. City officials and the Glenwood Springs business community have also been suppor tive from the very beginning, which has helped immensely. We are truly blessed to live and work in Glenwood Springs. When you look around at the beautiful setting and take into account that we have two wonderful hot springs to choose from plus Glenwood C averns Adventure Park, Sunlight Steve Beckley co owns the Iron Mountain Hot Springs with his wife Jeanne and Mogli and Coop Cooper. Post Independent /Citizen Telegram Steve Beckley, owner of Iron Mountain Hot Springs & Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park
Ruby Falls haunted cavern was Children of the Corn in sixth grade. So when I got the assignment named it houses to see before you That's in the country, not just Chattanooga Haunted Houses! Oh, boy. plenty of non horrifying fun to be had at Ruby Falls. Fall is the perfect ti me to do their ZIPStream a combination of zip line and ropes course and the caves are open daily during their regular times. But my job was to descend 26 stories into a haunted cave, that alone is scarier than any haunted house in Chattanooga. The 7 year old girl I spotted in line made me feel slightly braver (and wonder about her parents). This is NOT advertised as a family attraction but Ruby Falls set a minimum age and leaves the decision up to the parents. We begin the evening in the lobby, catching up with creators Tim Green and Todd Patton. The duo has been in the scare business virtually all their lives. Patton moved here to open a Halloween store several years ago and Green has been running haunted houses since 7th grade. jokes Green. About that time a car rolls through the parking lot Ohio license plate. People come from all over, and the line can be anywhere from 500 to 2,000 people long. Last year The attraction ope 7:30 PM when the actors walk by to take their positions. There are chainsaws, creepy me in leather masks and creatures called who glide over the asphalt in what must be metal kneepads, causing a terrifying grinding noise and sparks. The first part of the haunt takes place in a part of the cave not normally open to tourists. They keep the groups small (six people max) to intensify the experience. As we exit the elevator, the cave is narrow, low and very dark. grateful for two things: (1) not claustrophobic (2) I clutch cave. What sets the Haunted Cavern apart is the elaborate story line, which Green and Patton have been crafting since March. This year in the cave to investigate The Flesh Farm: zombies! Wh en we finally make our way out of the cave we board the which jostles us to the exit. When we see daylight we run to our waiting van as fast as our jelly legs can carry us. We drive to the second part of the haunt a maze of shipping containers and tents. Here they throw out all the stops including fire, blood and guts. They play with the temperature (and our heads). One room is hot and smelly; the other eerily cold. At one point I could
While there were plenty of people jumping out at us, Haunted Cavern goes beyond the tricks. It excels as a haunt equal parts creepy, gory and terrifying; achieved with professional makeup, sets and actors. In a world filled with horrifying things, I can almost see why people are drawn to something that can scare but never really hurt you. On the way out I ran into the 7 year old and asked if she Merrell McGinness Blog Writer Ruby Falls Haunted Cavern video A new era begins for the NCA insurance program We finally accomplished our goal of establishing an insurance program that allows each member t o better control their cost of risk. At the recent Indiana convention, the NCA Board approved the recommendation of the NCA Alternative Risk Liberty effective October 1, 2016. The details of the benef its of this program will be sent to all members by early November. Our efforts accomplished the following: Obtained comparable or better coverage than the NCA incumbent program carrier (Markel) an d the other carriers utilized by our members. This includes the creation of coverages to address special cave exposures as well the addition of specialty coverages not currently a part of the current program such as Earthquake, Flood, and Emergency Respons e Management and Special Cave Feature protections; Improved and enhanced risk management services in the areas of claims management and loss control; Provided for a profit sharing feature that is based upon the overall good loss experience of each member. We feel this will allow NCA and our members to further reduce their overall cost of risk:; Negotiated a commitment to develop improved and consistent rating system that will improve pricing over time; Created a program where we can continue to insure new e xposures and expand the program to write the coverage for other types of natural attractions; Provided an international platform that would allow us to further expand the program to the many quality caves located around the world. You may click here to vie w the Alternative Risk Presentation We will be meeting as a group in the month to come to establish policies and procedures for the new pr ogram in addition to meeting with all caves to introduce how everyone can reduce their cost of risk. Brad Wuest Insurance Committee Chair Assurance Agency Pro Insurance Services these gory creatures
Tim Grissom, Ohio Caverns receives Max Evans award The Logan County Chamber of Commerce hosted its 5th annual Stars in Business Night of Recognition. The Max Evans Tourism Award w ent to Tim Grissom from the Ohio Caverns. Tim said that Max was a major influence on him moving to Logan County. He feels that Logan County has many wonderful attractions. T hanks to all of the tourism professionals that voted for me. I am honored and flattered! Welcome new baby for Van Brunt family Say "Hi" to baby Ellie Jane Van Brunt daughter of Kara and Jeremy Van Brunt (Ruby Falls) b orn on October 11, 2016, weighing 7 lbs 3 oz at 12:31pm Mom and baby are doing great and big sister Emery is enjoying her new role! Natural Stone Bridge & Caves Park m atching d uo Ed & Greg Beckler of Natural Stone Bridge Caves & Park pose for the camera. hat do they say about the apple not falling far from the tree? We often end up wearing the same shirt and are never too far from a cup of coffee... little bit of surgery and that is why we did not see him at convention this year. Sympathy is extended to Mary Jane Fischer (Bluff Dwellers Cave) on the passing of her brother Wayne.
New geode wedding cake trend is rocking the internet you! Not to be confused with the recently trending galaxy cakes, geode cakes are more of the earthly variety cakes that look like they have the crystallized cross section of an amethyst or the like baked right into it. baked into the cake the mineral inspired culinary artwork is all entirely edible. This cake was under so much pressure that it crystallized into this beautiful amethyst. Or did it? The work of cake master Rachel, of Intricate Icings, this geode cake is mad e completely out of edible sugar for the First Look Events at Moss Denver. Rachel explains how she made the cake: on hours to create with several told Bored P ideas from, including actual geodes, a beautiful illustration, and a variety of table decor items like plates, chargers, and geometric floral arrangements. I knew I wanted to create a show stopping c ake and use the geode as the focal point creating an awe inspiring Denver based cake artist Rachael Teufel, owner of Intricate Icings Cake Design was perhaps the first to bake an edible geode into the cake itself earlier this year, when she baked a cake for free for a friend to celebrate a new wedding planning service and venue. what it is just loose candy, not forming who also offers a tutorial To achieve that sense of layering in the geode design, she also uses three sizes of the candied sugar: a rock candy size, on a stick; crystallized sugar, similar to the size of Pop Rocks; and granulized, like table sugar. The colors come from edible food colors that are airbrushed on. The couples who order the cake always have a good story, Teufel family who is big into nature or geology
Name dropped souvenirs: strategies to increase sales at zoos, aquariums and caves W hen looking to sell more name dropped souvenirs, take a good look at your logo and Caver ad purposes. A colored logo is always a plus. When choosing product, consider your demographic and target market; buy for that name packaging. Will it hold up well and look nice on display shelves, baskets and with other merchandise? Will it travel well? Does the merchandise harmonize with your property added Amy Price retail buyer of the Iron Mountain Hot Springs, the Glenwood Caverns Adventure Parks most prized possessions for them to see, touch and buy. Create vignettes with specialty items. Tell a story to entice the buyer. Use the area around registers, the most profitable square footage in the store, for private label product. At Virginia State Parks in Richmond, Va., Ann Henderson, enterprise business manager, said customer surveys showed that many state residents take mini vacations or buy a T shirt at one park, they do not want the same one from the next parks each have their own name drop Furth ermore, each park has its own logoed collectibles such as pins, patches, hiking medallions, bumper stickers and other small collectibles. Some customers work to collect all the pins, patches or medallions from each park, or pick an item to collect each yea need to develop new designs every few years to keep the collectibles counter space, so the small footprint of the display is perfect for making Sophie Goad, guest services representative at the Lake Superior Zoo, Duluth, Minn., photographed with merchandise. The assistant director of guest services said the wider the range of custom items carried, the better. Amy Price, retail buyer, Iron Mountai n Hot Springs, the Glenwood Caverns Adventure Parks in Glenwood Springs, Colo. Price recommended placing logo product front and center. Shown here with fudge is Laur a VanLue of Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park in Glenwood Springs, Colo., which is also home to Iron Mountain Hot Springs. The with merchandise to entice shoppers.
All apparel items are name dropped; if the name drop or main de sign is on the back, the shirts are displayed with the back out so customers see the design. Shirts that are folded have the design and name drop visible to the customer and/or a picture of the design adjacent to the display shelf, Henderson said. Because Jim DeLong, manager, buyer and part owner of Crystal Cave in Kutztown, Pa., has found that displaying name dropped souvenirs at eye level on shelves works well for the 2,176 square dropped dropped souvenirs in a display case in the front of the gift shop next to a cash register Tim Murray, senior retail buyer, Tennessee Aquarium, Chattanooga Tenn., advised keeping the animals, including river otters, penguins, turtles and sharks, look good with our 1,300 square feet, respectively. When looking to increase sales of name dro pped items, Kim Gefre, found that displaying souvenirs together works well at the 1,700 square foot gift shop. For example, picture frames, shot glasses and mugs are all placed together on a powerful statement and makes for an easy shopping experience for name dropped items in feature displays. For instance, when celebrating Earth Day she incorporat ed both name dropped recycled bags and mugs into a spring garden display. Samantha Halligan, assistant director of guest services, Lake Superior Zoo, Duluth, Minn., has found that the wider the range of ippy cups, magnets, candy, drinkware and apparel, having something for everyone gives the whole family a chance to take home a Location and display in the 900 square foot store also play a big role in sales of name dropped custom Maximizing Customer Service Vanlue advised training guest service staff to highlight private label items because By asking a visitor about their experience, staff can learn what they enjoyed the most and what type of souvenir would be the most memorable for them to take home, Halligan said. envir onment, you can lead guests to want to purchase a memory of the great day they had. Nothing does that better than so Karen Appold Custom items at the Lake Superior Zoo. The whole family has a chance to take home a memorable custom item from the attraction. Pins and towels are available at the Virginia State Parks in enterprise business manager said.
WNS R eport While surveying bats, an evening bat was caught at Avon Bottoms State Wildlife Refuge in Wisconsin. The bat was tagged and followed researchers counted over 160 evening bats including a maternity colony. This species was previously not reported in Wisc onsin. They fly south to Florida i the winter and do not hibernate, so it is believed they are not susceptible to WNS. Patty Perlaky WNS Chair Gift show is ready With more booths, more vendors and more buyer events than ever before, 2016 is set to be IGES' Biggest and Best Year Yet Hosting 600+ vendors nearly 200 NEW this November alone IGES continues to showcase the most sought after companies in the industry alongside those that are up and coming, allowing attendees an opportunity to experience the BEST of the Smokies and beyond. Located in the heart of the Smoky Mount ains, IGES is the perfect destination for souvenir buyers from throughout the U.S.! Join IGES this November 1st 5th to see and experience it all! For the latest information or to register for the 2016 International Gift Exposition in the Smokies, cal l 1 800 430 7608 or visit www.iges.us IAAPA Attractions Expo 201 6 next in the worldwide attractions industry at IAAPA Attractions Expo 2016, Nov. 15 18 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida. The weeklong tr ade show and conference will draw more than 28,000 attendees, feature a half million square foot trade show floor with 1,000 innovative exhibitors from around the world, and offer more than 100 educational opportunities, facility EDUTours, and networking e vents. IAAPA Attractions Expo is owned and produced by the International Association of Amusement trade show.
Monthly Historical Photograph Roy Davis (1989) Many remember Roy Davis had a sideline hobby in removing theater organs from theaters and selling them off so they would have a new home. This photo Roy is playing a few tunes on the organ he had installed in his home. 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 The Third Annual Texas Hydro Geo Workshop Cave Without A Name. Boerne, Texas, September 30 October 2, 2016 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 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, I taly, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org December 2016 Cave Talk Deadline Please have all articles to Bob Holt no later than November 15. Thank you