Rock City Announces Travel Attraction Award Win On National Travel And Tourism Day

Monday, May 7, 2018 - by Meagan Jolley
Rock City President and COO Susan Harris; STS President and CEO Bill Hardman; Rock City CEO and Owner Bill Chapin
Rock City President and COO Susan Harris; STS President and CEO Bill Hardman; Rock City CEO and Owner Bill Chapin

Rock City, the family-led attraction on Lookout Mountain, received the Escape to the Southeast Travel Attraction of the Year Award from the 12-state Southeast Tourism Society (STS) at the association’s inaugural Connections conference in Myrtle Beach on April 24.

“As one of the most recognized attractions in the country, this icon among travel attractions has long been a fixture among travelers in the southeast,” said STS President and CEO Bill Hardman. “Embodying what’s best about travel and family vacations, the selection of Rock City as Travel Attraction of the Year is most deserving. STS is proud to recognize Rock City for its decades of providing the very best in visitor experience.”

Rock City’s owner and CEO Bill Chapin said, “It was an honor to accept the award on behalf of all the folks who work so hard to make this award possible. It is a recognition of the efforts of hundreds who helped create experiences worth repeating.”

Rock City Gardens opened to the public on May 21, 1932 and has maintained its mission to create memories worth repeating for its guests and partners through the decades. The attraction was one of 14 winners of Shining Example Awards that recognized excellence in tourism.

"Rock City Gardens has a year-long event calendar, enhancing the natural beauty of the gardens with music, food and fun each season,” said Rock City President and COO Susan Harris. “We focus our efforts on innovation and guest service and are pleased to have those recognized by industry leaders at STS.”

The U.S. Travel Association marked May 7, 2018 as National Travel and Tourism Day, with a weeklong celebration May 6-12. During the annual National Travel and Tourism Week (NTTW), tourism professionals across the country unite to celebrate the value travel holds for the economy, businesses and personal well-being. This year is the 35th anniversary of the 1983 congressional resolution that established NTTW. Go to for more info.

Founded in 1983, Southeast Tourism Society ( promotes and develops tourism in its 12 member states of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. Its headquarters are in Atlanta. Membership includes state travel offices, convention and visitors bureaus, lodging properties, attractions, travel media and other travel-related organizations.

Bill Chapin and Susan Harris accept STS travel attraction award on behalf of Rock City
Bill Chapin and Susan Harris accept STS travel attraction award on behalf of Rock City

New Art Gallery Opening In Historic Rugby

A new art gallery is open in the historic Board of Aid to Land Ownership in Historic Rugby. “The Gallery At Rugby,” a new venture by artist and longtime area resident Freeman Davenport, opened on June 1. It features works from area artists for sale, and on display in monthly themed shows. Ms. Davenport has for years offered instruction to other artists through workshops ... (click for more)

Hot Rod Power Tour 2018 Rolls Into Chattanooga On Sunday

The 24th annual Hot Rod Power Tour rolls through the heartland of hot rod culture. It is more than just a traveling car show – it is the largest hot rod road trip in the world. The seven-day, seven-city, 1,300-mile journey is expected to bring together more than 6,000 vehicles and 100,000-plus spectators,  June 9-15 . The tour kicks off in Bowling Green, Ky., then heads ... (click for more)

Voters May Decide In November On Whether To Eliminate City Court; Paving Fund Also Considered

Chattanooga voters in November may get to vote on whether City Court should be abolished. City Council members indicated during budget talks on Tuesday that may be an upcoming referendum question. Councilman Jerry Mitchell said he, for one, "would vote to eliminate it." However, he said the court would apparently run through 2021 when the eight-year terms of Judges Sherry ... (click for more)

Riverton Development Spurs Talk Of Riverwalk Along The Northshore

Development of the former BlueCross property at Lupton City is spurring talk of a Riverwalk on the Northshore. The City Council discussed the topic on Tuesday night in giving final approval for a Planned Unit Development for Riverton on 210 acres. Officials said there are no specific plans for a Northshore Riverwalk, but several groups are actively working to make a connection ... (click for more)

Never Replacing Claude Ramsey But Following His Example

When Claude made his decision not to seek reelection as the 26th District state representative I made my intention known to seek the office following him.  Immediately opponents from both parties began to qualify for that opportunity.  With Bill Bennett as my campaign manager and many of Claude’s supporters going door to door into the community, as Claude had done in his ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Please ‘Connect The Dots’

Get your crayons out and let’s play “connect the dots.” Next Thursday (June 28 th ) the Tennessee Educational Equity Coalition, in partnership with Chattanooga’s publicly-flawed non-profit educational foundation, UnifiEd, will hold its regional meeting at Chattanooga’s Bessie Smith Hall. The coalition was formed to advocate for “students of color” in Tennessee, and among those on ... (click for more)