Summe was ‘arrogant and ignorant’ with letter

Published 9:19 pm Monday, September 16, 2019

It was disconcerting reading the letter penned by Eric Summe, president of the Kentucky Association of Convention and Visitors Bureau, who met this past week in Danville.

After complimenting Danville-Boyle County by calling it a “wonderful destination” and sharing his organization is “always … excited about coming to Danville,” he proceeded to knock public officials, the very people who’ve helped make it a “wonderful destination.” He claimed their “apparent disdain” for our tourism director, citing “not understanding the value tourism brings.”

When have local officials not recognized and supported tourism? From, whom and/or where would he get such a false impression? It seemed a twisted “cheap shot” from a person who’s been described as a “team player” and “excited” about coming to our community.

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Allow me to educate Mr. Summe.

• It was an elected official who encouraged our tourism director to re-engage the promotion of Danville-Boyle County at the state fair after nixing that venue years earlier.

• It was an elected official who suggested to the president of the EDP and tourism director to utilize more wisely the Brass Band Festival as a recruiting mechanism. Thank goodness our current executive director of the Brass Band Festival recognizes and favors highlighting it.

• It was a current elected official who alerted the tourism director about better preparedness for a “potential” tourism windfall, by providing timely and appropriate transportation from the train station, when a train trip of mostly elderly came to our “unprepared” community, resulting in a first and last excursion. An opportunity missed in promoting our community?

• It’s our elected officials who provide tax funds that help support our Convention and Visitors Bureau and tourism director’s salary while living “on the cheap” at Constitution Square campus.


• When our tourism director arguably showed a lack of professional courtesy regarding “Turtleman” Ernie Brown with “inappropriate” words, “we don’t want anyone representing Danville who has no teeth,” public officials didn’t support public outcry that she resigns. It’s ironic but fortunate that the man with no teeth demonstrated what a true professional can look like.

Mr. Summe then cited our Tourism Director’s comment: “We can do better than this.”

I agree! We can do better. And thank goodness it was our elected officials who were on board and supportive with better decisions made.

Perhaps Mr. Summe should just consider enjoying our “wonderful destination.” And keep arrogant and ignorant examples of his lack of knowledge to himself.

Randy Gip Graham