Selma organizes meeting with hospitality leaders

Published 8:49pm Tuesday, April 16, 2013

To help the city prepare for a big influx of visitors throughout April and May, the city of Selma along with the Selma-Dallas County Chamber of Commerce will hold a meeting with local hotel and restaurant owners and others who work in hospitality on Thursday, April 18 at 10 a.m.

The meeting, to be held in the Community Room at Trustmark Bank on Broad Street, will prep these business owners for weekends to come where Selma will see 195 schools for the state track meet for Class 1A, 2A and 3A schools the first week in May. In the last week in April, Selma will host the Battle of Selma reenactment, which is estimated to bring hundreds and the Cabela’s King Kat Tournament the same weekend.

“We did talk to them last year briefly but not enough,” Selma Mayor George Evans said about informing the business owners in hospitality — last year during these events, he said, restaurants ran out of food. “We want them to stock up on food and personnel so they can serve the busses when they come in. We always encourage professionalism and courtesy in terms of hospitality.”

Executive director for the Selma-Dallas County Chamber of Commerce, Sheryl Smedley, said International Paper has scheduled their annual “shut-down” in which the plant stops operation so maintenance workers can come into the plant and service the machines. More than 1,200 contractors will arrive for the shutdown from May 6-21. This will bring in visitors who lodge as well as eat in Selma in May

“We just want to give people a heads up,” Smedley said. “That is what this gathering is about — I know we can handle the influx of people but its just about communication and keeping people informed about what’s going on.”

While Selma hosted last year’s state track meets, fast food vendors ran out of food and teams traveled in busses to Marion and Prattville so as to feed their whole team.

But Smedley said businesses should always exhibit the best hospitality because visitors come everyday to Selma.

“We want to set a good tone and so they will come back again when it’s not one of these events and they will bring their families here so they can enjoy the history of Selma and enjoy the hospitality that we offer,” Evans said.

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