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Ohio's tourism board needs local voice

Register • Mar 31, 2014 at 8:30 PM

We like to think our area — the Northcoast region of Ohio — is the very capital of Ohio's tourism industry.

Sure, Cleveland has the Rock Hall; Toledo has the ... well we're not sure what Toledo has.

But right here, the very heart of the nation's heartland, we have Cedar Point and the islands directly north; the Marblehead Lighthouse to the west, restaurant city in downtown Sandusky; Kalahari Resort and the 15 golden miles of shopping heading south down U.S. 250; and Huron and Vermilion's world class harbors to the east.

Yes, that's right.

But still, there's no local representation on the state's tourism board, the group that guides the marketing plans to promote tourism in Ohio. That makes no sense to us, or to state Sen. Randy Gardner.

We appreciate Gardner's recent push to get a local tourism expert on the board. Gardner, R-Bowling Green, said he doesn't understand why Gov. John Kasich did not appoint Larry Fletcher, the executive director of the Ottawa County tourism bureau to the board after he applied, and we don't either. Gardner also suggested other local candidates who could serve the interests of the state's tourism industry if they were named to the board.

There's a vacancy coming up later this year. Kasich would do well look right here at those candidates when it comes time to name a new member.

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