GCVB discusses plans for Visitors Center, approves funding for interpretive panels


 The Gonzales Convention and Visitors Advisory Board elected new leadership at its regular meeting on Oct. 15.

Jean Burns was elected as the new Chair of the Board, Andi Seger was elected as Vice President, and Holly Danz was re-elected as the Board Secretary.

The Board received a community update from the mayor regarding activities of various boards and committees that could present opportunities for partnerships, such as the Airport Advisory Board’s progress in acquiring a courtesy car and activity reports from the J.B. Wells Expo Center and J.B. Wells Park were given by Anne Dollery, who said a steady stream of events and bookings were happening. A Main Street update from Director Liz Reiley stated that there were only three Veteran’s banners left for the holiday in November, and that they were expected to sell quickly. A tourism report was provided by Director Ashley Simper, who said that while there was a noticeable dip in hotel occupancy during what would have been Come and Take It weekend compared to years past, a small increase over the weekend of Oct. 10 and 11 was noticeable. Simper attributed this increase to other events in the community and leisure traveling.

Plans for the Gonzales Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center building project were discussed. Jean Burns noted that previously planned fundraisers which were intended to aid in the project’s funding had to be pushed back due to COVID-19.

The Chamber is currently housed in the old Jail Museum, which Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Daisy Scheske Freeman said is not ADA compliant, leaving anyone who needs such accommodations to enter the building unable to do so. Scheske Freeman also said that supplies for events such as Come and Take It tend to be spread around the homes of Chamber staff and a storage unit, and that the bathroom in the old Jail Museum is not located in the same place as the sink. The new building, set to be in a former GVEC facility, is attached to a warehouse which would allow for things to be stored all in one place, and appropriately situated bathrooms.  

The Miss Gonzales Pageant, which had previously been pushed from its traditional Come and Take It weekend date due to COVID-19 and the event’s cancellation, was tentatively discussed for Winterfest, but no action was taken.

In other business:

  • An application for advertising funding through Hotel Occupancy Tax for Rusted Gingham’s 13th annual Barn Sale was approved.
  • Funding for the interpretive panels to be placed in the downtown square in amount of $8,610 was also approved by the board. This covers the cost of the panels, stands and installation.