Frankfort, KY- On April 29, 2005, the Franklin Welcome Center will be celebrating 30 years of spirited service to the Commonwealth of Kentucky. The Welcome Center opened on May 1, 1975 and is located on the Kentucky-Tennessee border off I-65 North near Franklin, Kentucky, south of Bowling Green.
“Our Kentucky Welcome Centers are vital assets to the state’s tourism industry,” said Randy Fiveash, Commissioner of Tourism. “Welcome Center staff members create the first impression many visitors receive of Kentucky. We certainly appreciate the Franklin Welcome Center as well as our state’s eight other Centers’ hard work and commitment to making our state shine when it comes to hospitality.”
Linda Baughn, Supervisor for the Franklin Welcome Center, remarked on her twenty-three years working at the Center. “We provide visitors information about all facets of our state by talking to them, distributing maps or Great Getaway Guides. We have to be prepared to cope with any circumstance.” Last fall, Kentucky Welcome Centers made adjustments to their normal business practices to accommodate the influx of Florida residents and travelers seeking assistance from Hurricane Ivan. The Franklin Welcome Center extended its hours and provided additional services and resources to travelers during the time of crisis.
Linda said she treasured her time working with two of the Center’s first employees, Bea Wilson and Pat Davis. Violet Scott was also one of the first three to work at the Center. Today the Center’s staff consists of Linda Baughn, Judy Fiss who has worked at the Welcome Center for 15 years and Darlene Bowles with 1 1/2 years of experience.
“Welcome Center staff members are trained to provide the best customer service available,” said Sharon Finley, Manager of Welcome Centers. “The staff can provide information from the basic ‘How long does it take to get to Mammoth Cave?’ to planning a family's an entire vacation. Welcome Centers also help plan weekend getaways or one tank trips for Kentuckians too.”
Commissioner Fiveash, Sharon Finley, Department of Transportation Staff, Convention and Visitors Bureau Representatives as well as former employees including Comer Newberry and his wife Paulene will be in attendance at Friday’s event. Local Franklin officials and representatives are expected to attend as well.
The celebration for the Welcome Center’s thirtieth anniversary will begin at 1:00 p.m. CST. Anniversary cake and refreshments will be served. Entertainment will be provided by Betty Pedigo playing selections from Stephen Foster and Appalachian music on the harp. The Franklin Welcome Center Staff invites everyone who wishes to take part in the celebration to attend the event.
For more information, contact Linda Baughn at 270-586-6292 or by email at email@example.com .
The Kentucky Department of Tourism, an agency of the Kentucky Commerce Cabinet, exists to promote The Commonwealth as a travel destination, to generate revenue and create jobs for Kentucky's economy