The Oak Grove Tourism Commission met at noon Tuesday to discuss the final report of the department’s 2018-19 audit.

Oak Grove Tourism Executive Director Traci Cunningham presented the results of the yearly audit performed by Matt Hale of Alexander Thompson Arnold PLLC because Hale could not attend the meeting himself to discuss his findings.

However, Hale did provide the commission with several talking points.

First and foremost, he gave an unqualified, clean, opinion of the financial statements found in the audit. In an email to Cunningham, Hale wrote, “It doesn’t get any better. A+.”

“Basically, he said that we’re in great standing,” Cunningham told the commission.

“And (as far as) the budget, we’re under budget — we’re looking really good. He said he didn’t find any fault and didn’t identify any findings.”

The audit also did not identify any points regarding management, control or compliance, she noted.

“All in all, he said, this year was one of the really good years,” Cunningham said. “So, I’m happy and kudos to the (tourism) team and this board, cause without you guys, we couldn’t do what we do so well.”

Following the report, Cunningham shared with the commission that Oak Grove Tourism had won an award from the Southeast Festivals and Events Association Conference 2020. However, she said her team has not been informed about the specific award yet.

Cunningham also shared with the commission her excitement that Oak Grove Tourism would be partnering with Oak Grove Gaming, Racing and Hotel for events, sponsoring and more in the years to come.

Cunningham shared that Tourism Executive Administrator Britnee Ohman met with Oak Grove Racing’s new general manager Darold Londo and Churchill Downs Vice President Mike Anderson and gave them a tour of the tourism department while Cunningham was out for surgery.

Following the tour, Cunningham said Londo and Anderson shared that they were impressed and looking forward to partnering in the future.

“They were very impressed with the whole thing and I think we’re going to be doing some really good things together, partnering,” Cunningham said.

“Our whole thing is when we’re having events, they’re going to try not to, and when they’re having events, we’re not — we’re actually going to partner with each other and we’re not going to interfere because we’re going to be one big happy family and work with each other.”

Cunningham also added that the hotel and casino will have an event center that tourism will be able to borrow if it hosts events Valor Hall can’t accommodate.

“That way we keep it all in Oak Grove,” Cunningham said.

“All in all, we’re excited about the racing, and we’re going to partner with them. I think it’s going to be a really good partnership.”

In other business

  • Cunningham said she was recently appointed as treasurer of the Kentucky Association of Convention and Visitors Bureau as well as vice president of the Southern Kentucky Film Commission.
  • Cunningham said Saturday’s Murder Mystery Dinner was well attended and plans to host another similar event in October.

Cunningham said the storage building the commission approved several meetings prior is completed, but tourism had not yet ordered new chairs for Valor Hall as it is waiting for electricity to be added to the building.

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