LINCOLN – Geoff Ladd, the executive director of the Abraham Lincoln Tourism Bureau of Logan County, submitted a letter of resignation Wednesday.
“After nearly eight years with the Abraham Lincoln Tourism Bureau of Logan County, I have decided to pursue exciting new employment opportunities. I am looking forward to helping the bureau during this transition phase for their organization,” wrote Ladd in an email.
“Tourism remains a vital part of the local economy, and I am pleased that over the last several years we have seen a growth in the hotel tax revenue by over 30%, which means more and more people are coming to visit for the events, sports tournaments and daily attractions we have to offer. I want to thank all my board members past and present, my staff, my industry colleagues, and all our great volunteers. I also want to issue special thanks to Larry Van Bibber, who through his philanthropic efforts brought the World’s Largest Covered Wagon to Lincoln,” continued Ladd.
“Work still continues on The Mill on 66 restoration project, which is owned by the Route 66 Heritage Foundation of Logan County, and I will continue to be a part of that organization. This is an important project, and when fully restored and opened as a museum the attraction will be any even bigger tourism draw to Lincoln and Logan County,” said Ladd.
Tourism board member Ron Keller said Ladd announced his departure which shocked the group.
“It was a surprise and a shock,” said Keller.
“When Geoff took over the bureau was in a huge deficit and the tourism bureau didn’t have the respect by other organizations in the county. Since then he turned the deficit into a surplus by connecting with other tourism agencies and enhanced the Route 66 heritage that Lincoln has,” said Keller.
Keller said with the recent news of the City of Lincoln wanting to take control over the bureau it played a role in his departure.
“I think it had an affect on Geoff and I didn’t expect this to happen,” said Keller.
On an upbeat note Keller said he would still support Ladd’s future endeavors.
“I applaud his effort and wish him only the best,” said Keller.
During Tuesday evening’s City Council meeting alderman Tom O’Donoghue and Melody Anderson said they had completed the expectations of the tourism bureau in order for the City to continue funding the tourism programs. More discussion on the tourism topic will take place at the May 14 meeting.
When called for details Ladd was silent about his future.
“I sent that out to the media and that is pretty much all I have to say at this point,” said Ladd.
He did stress that he will be living and working in the Lincoln area.