Last Friday night Randy and Olivia Grider hosted a wonderful introduction party at Cook Castle of their new regional magazine called Lookout Alabama Magazine. It is a lifestyles magazine that will feature the beauty and culture of our area. The magazine will highlight the region’s people, history and natural beauty as well as the many cultural, educational, outdoor-adventure, dining, shopping and child-friendly attractions that make this beautiful corner of Alabama an ideal vacation and retirement destination as well as business location.
It will feature Lookout Mountain and surrounding communities and towns throughout Northeast Alabama, Northwest Georgia and the Lookout Mountain area of Tennessee. The quarterly magazine will offer a full size 9.25x11format with excellent print quality. The publication will target business and industry with above average income readers. It will be directed toward potential visitors that are most likely to come to our area for a vacation or long weekend. Distribution of the magazine is in a 250 mile radius. The magazine’s business template and demographics should attract economic development interest in our area and provide increased tax revenue through tourism. This publication should play another important role in our growth and development. The first issue comes out in June.
Last Friday evening’s event introduced the new publication in a big way. Bestselling author Homer Hickam (Rocket Boys and 13 other books) was a featured speaker at the introduction ceremony. Senator Clay Scofield, co chair of the Alabama Tourism Committee spoke about tourism in our state and the very important role it plays in the growth of our economy. He awarded Natalie Cone a first place award in the Literary Tourism writing competition hosted by the new magazine. Congratulations Natalie! Lookout Alabama Magazine promises to feature fiction tourism writing on a regular basis. There was a host of other speakers beginning with a dinner prayer from Fort Payne Mayor, Larry Chesser. After dinner Senator Scofield spoke, then Homer Hickam, then I spoke about tourism in DeKalb County with an update on our numbers. Director of Tourism in Greater Gadsden-Etowah Tourism, Hugh Stump spoke about his area and Anne Shumaker did the same for Cherokee County. Carol Beddingfield, our Fort Payne Chamber Director spoke about the chamber and the close working relationship between the Chamber, Economic Development and Tourism here in DeKalb County. Lastly, Nisa Miranda of the University of Alabama University Center for Economic Development gave a wonderful presentation about working together as a region to develop a long term partnership that would help develop an appealing regional identity for our area that would generate a larger audience for tourism and economic development all throughout our area.
A special thanks to our host Randy and Olivia Grider who introduced our speakers and gave us a wonderful night of insight to the new magazine. Music was provided by B Sharp. They were great and the food from Nessa’s was wonderful.