After 16 years at the helm of Castle Country's tourism promotion efforts, Kathy Hanna-Smith is leaving to take a job as general manager for Tony Basso's AJB Broadcasting radio stations KUSA/KASL in Price.
In an interview Friday, she emphasized that the job change is not about dissatisfaction at the Travel Bureau. "I loved the job and I never thought I'd be switching. But the offer and the opportunity came up and I decided to take it because I love advertising and promotion," she said.
Hanna-Smith noted that the career move is an opportunity to take advantage of her past experience in radio advertising - she worked at KOAL - and the connections she has made at the Travel Bureau and Chamber of Commerce over the years. "I'll be able to hit the ground running," she said of her new job.
When asked to recall some of the highlights of the past 16 years, she answered, "More than anything, people know about Carbon County and Castle Country inside the state and outside. This area doesn't have national parks and monuments, but people love the opportunities. There's a charm about this area."
As an example, she cited the improvements to Nine Mile Canyon over the years. "I just got back from a trade show and it is amazing how many people said they have been there and commented on how much easier it is to find the attractions."
Aside from the improvements in the canyon itself, the tourism promotion effort has increased and enhanced its publications and has taken advantage of internet and video media to get the word out. Hanna-Smith said the communication is doing double-duty as a tool for other forms of economic development. A recently-produced DVD focusing on attractions and amenities in the region could be used in presentations to attract businesses, she said.
Her last day as director of the Travel Bureau is Friday.