Brown County tourism chief resigns amid cuts

August 30, 2007

The Brown County Convention and Visitors Bureau is without a permanent leader after its longtime president and CEO resigned amid a budgeting conflict.

Teresa Anderson quit Aug. 24 after the county Tourism Commission ordered the CVB to cut its personnel expenses, as well as split part of the Innkeepers Tax income with other organizations promoting tourism.

A $30,000 shortfall in its annual budget of $570,000 and funding restrictions within several areas of the CVB prompted Anderson, who had been at the helm for 20 years, to resign.

Her accomplishments included developing the Brown County Visitors Center in downtown Nashville.

Jane Ellis, a six-year veteran of the CVB, is serving as interim president. She declined to speculate why the Tourism Commission ordered the CVB to cut funding and is unsure if she will permanently lead the organization.

"We are re-evaluating all job descriptions and deciding how we will move ahead on our search," she said.

Brown County's scenic landscape and the shops in Nashville attract thousands of visitors annually to southern Indiana.

This spring, the Brown County Democrat reported that Nashville restaurant sales had declined for two years.

Restaurant, hotel and shop owners blamed the reversal on factors that include weather patterns, the closing of two fast-food restaurants and more competition from nearby Bloomington and Columbus.

Some business owners earlier this year also said they worried about customers being drained away by casinos opening in French Lick, south of Nashville.

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