Cave Talk

Cave Talk

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Cave Talk
National Cave Association
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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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June 2015
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University of South Florida Library
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K26-05304 ( USFLDC DOI )
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Robert A. Holt PO Box 625, Cobleskill, NY 12043 E xecutive Director Phone: 518 231 5420 E mail: 1965 Celebrating Our 50th Year 2015 June 2015 House on the Rock Resort T he Site of the 50th Annual Convention Spring Green, Wisconsin The Resort Brochure: Important Note for Reservations... When making reservations at House on the Rock Reso rt, please identify yourselves as being part of the NCA. If you don't, you will be told the resort is sold out. The rate is $139 plus tax. The cut off date is August 20 so be sure and get your reservations in before then. Rooms and rate will be subject to availability afterwards. Again, the number is 608 588 7000 Making hotel reservations online is not an available option. Registration materials will f ollow after the Fourth of July holiday. Looking forward to our 50th in Wisconsin!! Susan Berdeaux Convention Coordinator OFFICERS President : Steve Rawlings Mercer Caverns, CA Ph: 209 728 2101 Vice President : Patty Perlaky Raccoon Mt. Caverns, TN Ph: 423 821 9403 Secretary Treasurer : Bob Holt Mercer Caverns, CA Ph: 518 231 5420 Past President : Greg Beckler N atural Stone Bridge & Caves, NY Ph: 518 494 2283 et 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) John Graves Luray Caverns, VA john.graves@luraycaverns. com Ph: 540 743 6551 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 Director s at Large Steve Runkle Cave of the Winds, CO Ph: 719 685 5444 Aaron Ginn Sierra Nevada Recreation, CA a sginn Ph: 209 736 2708


Ruby Falls Becomes Deepest "Smart Cave" With Internet Access Ruby Falls is excited to announce phase one of the first ever Wi Fi con nection 1,120 feet within Lookout Mountain, making it the deepest commercial cave with internet capability! Partnering with EPB and InfoSystems, this is a first time installation of its kind for Chattanooga. supporters like InfoSystems, HP and EPB to provide our guests the technology for making their visit even more enriching without detracting from our unique natural attraction. No one would have thought more than 85 years ago that we could This wireless connectivity enhances the visitor experience and provides easier internal communication to the cave. From a staff perspective, the use of fiber optics enhances security features and allows Wi Fi access hotspots throughout the cave, 13 security cameras, 10 phones and Wi Fi phones for managers. From a visitor perspective, there is still the ability to escape in to the cave experience while now having access to connect and share memories with loved ones in real time. improvements in efficiency for t he staff at the Falls who now have multiple backup methods of communicating to the folks topside are just remarkable, and the innovative experience for guests to stay connected while so far Working together, InfoSystems and Ruby Falls have achieved a historic moment for the cave as far as we know, connecting the depths of a tourist cave to the Internet has neve adventure. Now, Ruby Falls combines the best of both worlds as visitors enjoy a unique caving experience and Fi Speed I Employee Certification at DeSoto Caverns Family Fun Park DeSoto Caverns Family Fun Park is proud of their hard working employees! They have recently started an employee certification program to encourage and reward excellence. As their employees complete a comprehensive list of park host expectations including "wowing" the guests excellence in cave tour knowledge ability, and overall pa rk proficiency, they are rewarded! They want the park to be an amazing environment for both the guests and employees


Journey Through the Sabertooth Cave at Indiana Caverns We have been open just over two weeks on our new Journey thru the Sabertooth Cave. While we missed the spring break period (with all the appropriate aged kids), we have had enough participants the first two weeks to see that the attraction will be a successful add on attraction. We have had no real issues in the first 100 200 peop le through it, although a few adults wished they had rented knee pads. Participants crawl through a 30 inch inside diameter smooth plastic culvert for about 375 feet and look to find a vault to the side containing the lair of the ice age sabertooth tiger c omplete with golden skull and gold doubloons(a minature version of Smog's stash in the Hobbit). We provide helmets, helmet mounted lights and gloves to everyone. We offer to rent knee pads to adults only, which most rent or wish they had rented. We charge $5.00 per person. We were looking for an attraction that would not require a fulltime employee assigned to staff it. Except for the larger volume caves, it has seemed that gemstone mining has been the only thing that appears universally successful without any staffing. Thi s attraction requires no designated employee; but does add to the work of our counter staff. Everything is handled at the ticket counter by existing staff. We plan to package it with gemstone mining and our cave tour as a group package going forward. We e xpect it to be at least as successful as gemstone mining (once you subtract the cost of product for gemstone mining), which we don't have with the Sabertooth Cave. Gary Roberson Indiana Caverns West Meets East Steve Fairchild & Linda Lars e n owners of the west coast 's Sierra Nevad a Recreation otherwise known as "Lotsa Caves" Moaning Cavern, California Cavern State Historic Landmark and Black Chasm National Natural Landmark recently traveled to the east coast and surprised Rob Arey at Polar Caves Park in New Hampshire


Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park Named Regional Finalist in U.S. Chamber 2015 DREAM Big Small Business of the Year Award The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has recognized Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park in Glenwood Springs, Colo., as one of seven regional finalists in its 2015 DREAM Big Small Business of the Year Award. The park is the finalist for the Southwest/South Central Region, and is now eligible to win Small Business of the Year. According to the U.S. Chamber, the finalists, sele cted from 100 Blue Ribbon Small Business Award winners, stood out for their exceptional business practices and community involvement. The finalists and the Blue Ribbon Award winners will be recognized at the 11th Summit, Ju ne 8 10 in Washington, D.C. During the summit, one regional finalist will be named the Small Business of the Year and take home the $10,000 cash prize. flattered to be recognized by the U.S. Chamber as one of the seven finalists for this prestigious award and are looking forward to attending the summit in recognition reflects the hard work of our man agement team and employees, and the ongoing support of our guests and Being chosen as a finalist is one of several accolades the park has received recently. It was named a Blue Ribbon Small Business Award winner by the U.S. Chamber last month and the Top Brass Business of the Year by the Glenwood e of the 10 Best Roller Coaster Rides of Your Life by USA Today. ree enterprise. It means that Steve and Jeanne Beckley have made Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park a model for exceptional business practices li, travel with us to D.C. to cheer the Ca Glenwood Caverns originally opened to the public as the Fairy Caves in 1895, but closed at the onset of World War I. The caves were closed for 82 years until the Beckleys reopened the caverns in 1999. They added the Iron Mountain Tramway to provide year round access to the mountain top location in 2003 and, two years later, started adding rides and owned business into a thriving tourist destination with a long range plan that keeps visitors coming back year after year. More than 185,000 people visited the Park during 2014. This year, in partnership with Mogli and Coop Cooper, the Beckleys are opening the new Iron Mount ain Hot Springs alongside the Colorado River in Glenwood Springs, just across from the base of the tramway. Shares of Stock in Diamond Caverns Available For Sale Would you be interested in 20% ownership of Diamond Caverns in Park City, Kentucky? Gary Berdeaux would like to let everyone know that he has shares of stock that are available for sale If you are interested in making this investment, you may contact Gary directly by phone at 251 597 5999 or email him at for more information.


Welcome the Newest Member of the Sandy Creek Mining Company Family! Wyatt Patrick Woodruff was born on May 13th at 2:10 PM weighing in at 8 pounds and 20.5 inches long. Wyatt's parents are Jason and Julia Woodruff and grandparents are Patrick (Woody) and Terrie Woodruff. Little Wyatt looks pretty happy and content to be home from the hospital with his parents... perhaps he's already dreaming about being a sluice builder Best wishes to Jay & Jules and the Woodruff family! Sinkhole Simulator Coming to the National Corvette Museum A new exhibit coming to the National Corvette Museum will let visitors experience the massive sinkhole that opened beneath it last year. The museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky was alerted when the sinkhole opened under the floor in its Skydome area around 5:44am on February 12, 2014. It swallowed display stands and rails, large concrete floor slabs and eight rare, one of a kind Corvettes. Now just over a year later with sinkhole filled in and the damage repaired, the Museum is working to recreate the fateful event that turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Visitors curious about the sinkhole helped the museum record its highest attendance ever in 2014, with about 250,000 visitors. WBKO reports that the new exhibit, nicknamed the Thunderdome, is being constructed by a Florida company. It will include a model of the Skydome, along with a sinkhole that resembles the real destruction that took place. and it will simulate what it would have been like if you were in the cave when the sinkhole happened. S o, it should be really exciting," said Katie Frassanelli, Natio nal Corvette Museum Marketing/Communications Manager The Thunderdome is expected to open this fall Watch this video on the extraction of the Corvettes from the sinkhole. Read and watch this video on the re opening of the museum m/story/27886244/corvette museum fills in sinkhole moves closer to reopening skydome


Youth Looking for a Caving Experience ? Just to introduce myself, I Chair the National Speleological Society Youth Group Liaison Committee. One of the first suggestions we make to a youth group looking for a caving experience is to look at a local commercial cave. I feel, hands down, this is one of the best experiences a youth can have in their life. I would like to reach out and make a connection between comm ercial caves and youth organizations. One of the ways I can do this is to promote what activities your business has that a youth group or youth organization would enjoy taking part in. But I need your help to do this. I need to know from you what you take pride in as a memorable activity for kids. Send me an email about your programs specifically for youth groups. If you have a web calendar of these activities, send me the link. I would like to list these activities on our website with a link to your page. You can do Send me an email with an article and pictures of any youth group or youth organization visiting your facility. What, when, and where is important. Any quotes from the kids? How about from the adult leaders? And pictures. Did I or You can check out our primary pages at or my blog at www.youcave. org You can even google Cave Safely, Cave Softly, Cave Often, Allen Maddox Chair NSS Youth Group Liaison Committee Recent Heavy Rain in Texas Raises Water Level at Natural Bridge Caverns On May 19 Natural Bridge Caverns in Texas posted on their Facebook page: The Discovery Aquifer Tour is available NOW and for an EXTREMELY limited time! The water has risen in the Discovery Passages cave due to recent heavy rainfall, which temporarily gives our gue sts the rare opportunity to see a spectacular close up view of unique natural phen omenon! See for yourself as Matt Carr of Natural Bridge Caverns is seen on this local tv news video rains put aquifer on display at natural bridge caverns.html


NCA Insurance Column information, news, education and industry hilarity! Is it OK for a Company to Su pply OTC Medications? the counter medications in a company first aid kit. Occupational Health and Safety Administration National Standard Institute minimum requirements for workplace first OTC medications, analgesics are included in a list of optional items. Despite this, small business owners may want to think twice before supplying OTC medications. Your good intentions may unintentionally expose both you and your business to serious legal trouble. OTC MEDICATION GUIDE LINES ANSI Standard Z308.1 2009, the most current first aid kit standard as of publication, says first aid kit OTC medica tions should be free from ingredients that have the potential to cause drowsiness. In addition, OTC medications must meet U.S. Food and Drug Administration single dose, tamper evident packaging and labeling standards. Examples of acceptable OTC medications include pain relievers such as aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen, as well as pain relief patches, cough drops, cold, sinus and allergy medicine, and anti diarrheal medication. BENEFITS OF SUPPLYIN G OTC MEDICATIONS On the one hand, supplying OTC medications to employees may increase productivity and morale and also reduce the potential for on the job accidents. Supplying OTC medications may make sense from a business perspective, especially when you consider what the business stands to lose when an employee l eaves work because of a headache or stomach cramps. A business policy prohibiting employees from sharing medications and then stocking only approved OTC also prevents employees from using medications that have the potential to cause drowsiness. EMPLOYEE CONSIDERATI ONS have unintende medications, some may suffer a degree of lethargy despite the absence of ingredients that commonly cause drowsiness and some may get sicker after taking OTC med supplying OTC medications can lead to workplace accidents or make it unwise for an employee to drive home the end of the day. LEGAL CONSIDERATIONS al legal liability. First, supplying any type of OTC medication may seem to an e point become the basis of a lawsuit. Another thing to consider is that your business could face legal actions if an employee gets sicker or has a reaction after taking OTC medication the event an employee sues the business. Webster Lucas, a California man who had a unsatisfactory visit at a Pacoima, CA McDonald's restaurant, has not had enough...napkins, that is. On a visit in late January, 2014, Lucas alleges that after asking for an extra napkin with his food, the Manager on duty described as a Mexican American mumbled something that Lucas took to be racially discriminating. He claimed in a letter to the location's General Manager that the incident left him "unable to work because of the undue mental anguish and the intentional infliction of emotional distress" caused by the man who may or may not have provided him with an ex tra napkin. The price tag Mr. Webster has assigned to his emotional and mental distress? $1.5 million dollars. Frivolity: He's Lovin' It!


Contact Us: If you have any comments, questions or suggestions for the NCA Insurance Column Heather Ginn Insurance Committee WNS Report Location Updates: Illinois has 11 counties confirmed with WNS In Wisconsin, 14 sites in 8 counties have confirmed the presence of the fungus or WNS. In Georgia, Black Diamond Tunnel showed a decrease of 90% of the bat population. Legislation: Canada, Mexico and the U.S. have signed an agreement to protect migratory bats. A Maine legislative committee recommends adding the little brown and Northern long eared bat to its endangered species list. Research: Update on UC Santa Cruz research: It was reported that naturally occurring bacteria on the skin of bats may be able to fight the WNS fungus. The bacteria that inhibited growth of P. destructans fungus in labs is Pseudomonas fluorescens. Interes tingly, a different strain of P. fluorescens is used to fight fungal diseases in crops and related bacteria produce compounds that inhibit growth of the chytrid fungus. The isolates came from the big brown bat, which has been relatively unscathed by WNS. Scientists at UC San Francisco and Brown University found an enzyme in the WNS fungus that digests collagen (they named it Destructin 1). They then tested an inhibitor, chymostatin, and found that it protected about three quarters of the collagen from b eing broken down, indicating the fungus produces other substances that degrade collagen. Patty Perlaky WNS Chair Looks like Ohio C averns may have a new resident mascot... There have been numerous sightings of this fox wandering around the grounds! Family Travel with Colleen Kelly an episode of Bridal Cave has been released for viewing according to Steve Thompson. You may see it at: KBFUXsi4& For the full episode of Lake of the Ozarks and Bridal Cave which airs on PBS, you may view this link: om/watch?v=TX4Onf9Rye4


From Deep Down In The Archives... Convention 2009 Branson, Missouri NCA Past Presidents : Front Row: Dick Bell, Steve Thompson, Jack Herschend, Ann Dunlavy, Roy Davis. Back Row: Gordon Smith, Max Evans, Jim Richards, Harrison Terk, Steve Fairchild, Eric Evans. 23rd International Karstological School & 50th Anniversary International Union of Speleology (UIS), Postojna, Slovenia, June 15 20, 2015 NSS Convention 2015, Waynesville, Missouri July 13 17, 2015 NCA Convention 2015, (50 th Anniversary) Host: Cave of the Mounds, Blue Mounds, Wisconsin, September 21 25, 2015 NCKRI The Sinkhole Conference, Rochester, Minnesota, October 5 9, 2015 ISCA 2015, Germany & Austria, October 17 24, 2015 N ational Cave & Karst Management Symposium 2015, Cave City, Kentucky, October 19 23, 2015 IGES/SSS 2015, Sevierville, Tennessee, November 3 6 201 5 & Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, November 4 8 201 5 Smokey Mountain Gift Show 2015, Gatlinburg, Tennessee, November 4 7, 2015 IAAPA 2015, Orlando, Florida, November 16 20, 2015 Tucson Gem and Mineral Shows 2016, Tucson, Arizona, January 30 February 14, 2015 NCA Mid Winter Board of Directors Meeting, Renaissance Airport Hotel, St. Louis, Missouri, February 22 24, 2016 NCKRI Deep Karst 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 IAAPA 2016, Orlando, Florida, November 8 11, 2016 Tucson Gem and Mineral Shows 2017, Tucson, Arizona, January 28 February 12, 2017 NCA Convention 2017, Host: Mark Twain Cav e, Hannibal, Missouri (Dates TBD ) IAAPA 2017, Orlando, Florida, November 14 17, 2017 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 produce more issues of Cave Talk and this can only happen when you help with the sharing of your news. P lease send your articles, photographs to July 2015 Cave Talk Deadline Please have all articles to Bob Holt no later than June 15. Thank you


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