Dr. Ingrid Schneider of the University of Minnesota Tourism Center will be one of the featured speakers Tuesday, at Eagle Creek. The event is hosted by the Greater Lake Shelbyville Working Group and will address Lake visitor profiles.

The basic questions we always want answered are “Who, What, When, Where and Why?” Those are being addressed at an informational meeting presented by The Greater Lake Shelbyville Working Group at Eagle Creek Resort, Tuesday, June 20 at 7:00 p.m.

Area business owners, city and county officials, and concerned residents of Shelby and Moultrie Counties are invited to attend “Lake Shelbyville Visitor Profiles” with lectures being presented to examine the profile(s) of the typical visitors to Lake Shelbyville.

The ‘profilers’ for this meeting are Dr. Dorothy Anderson and Dr. Ingrid Schneider, both from the University of Minnesota.

Dr. Schneider, of the University of Minnesota Tourism Center, will speak on visitor demographics, economic relevance, and future implications of the tourism industry. Dr. Schneider's primary research interests are in the attitudes and behaviors of those involved in recreation and nature-based tourism activities. Specific interests include conflict and diversity in recreation.

Dr. Dorothy Anderson, of the University of Minnesota Center for Environment and Natural Resources Policy will lecture on local attitudes, future implications, and the value of working together.

With funding from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Anderson and Schneider conducted on-site surveys last summer at Carlyle Lake and at Lake Shelbyville to understand what kind of visitor comes to Lake Shelbyvile; what they do where they get here; and why they come back year after year.

Jim Looft, member of the Working Group said, “The reason for this meeting is to look at the customer surveys collected by Schneider and Anderson and see how we can apply that to the way we do business. The surveys revealed a lot of information about the type of visitor that comes to Lake Shelbyville.

Beginning in October, Schneider and Anderson will be turning their attentions to the Shelby-Moultrie area to begin a comprehensive study. “We have to look at Shelby and Moultrie counties as one unit,” said Schneider. Looft agreed and cited the Spores N’ More Festival that involves both counties. Schneider went on to say, “The experience at Lake Shelbyville is different from Carlyle. One factor is camping. You have pockets of visitors that come here from Springfield, St. Louis and Chicago that are of a different demographic than Carlyle. Camping in the Shelby-Moultrie area is a very different experience and people come back for that.”

The lecture series is designed to assist businesses in customer assessment, improving marketing strategies and discovering effective ways of networking.

The Greater Lake Shelbyville Working Group is comprised of business leaders and professionals seeking to improve the economic environment of the area. The core of the group consists of Jim Looft, U of I Extension Office Director; Chris Spears, of Shelby Electric Cooperative; Richard Glazebrook of IDNR and Stepheny McMahon of the Sullivan Chamber of Commerce.

“We have an economic generator in Lake Shelbyville,” added Looft. “We can work together with Moultrie county and be more effective in obtaining federal and state grants for economic development.”

Schneider added, “Targeted marketing and visitor dispersion could enhance the numbers and types of visitors that come to Lake Shelbyvile, if that is what the community wants. The goal would be to present the Lake in new and fresh ways to the public without compromising the quality of the natural environment.”

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