CVB offering bus tour of Austin

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 23, 2003

You don't have to travel far to do a little sight-seeing.

The Austin Convention and Visitor's Bureau is sponsoring a bus trip around Austin to expose residents to some of the old sights, as well as some things that have changed, in town. Holly LaVallie, executive director of the Convention and Visitors Bureau, said it hopes to let participants know that "tourism is alive and well in Austin."

The day starts off with a tour and pastry at the Historic Hormel Home. After that, participants will take a guided tour through the SPAM Museum followed by lunch at the SPAM Cafe.

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After lunch, there's a guided city tour with a stop at the Mower County Historical Society.

A story from storyteller Al Batt and a historical movie at the Paramount Theater will precede a trip to the Jay C. Hormel Nature Center for some fresh air before heading home. LaVallie said it is important that residents are aware of the tourism opportunities in town.

"We're trying to create awareness for the people of Austin because the community members are our number-one sellers," she said.

Besides the trip, organizers will be discussing with participants the economic impact that tourism has on Austin and how the industry has changed over the years.

This is not the first time a trip like this has been arranged, but it has not been done for four or five years, LaVallie said.

"With so many things new, things changing and the tourism the SPAM Museum has brought to town, we thought it was time to bring it back," she said.

Reservations are on a first come, first serve basis, and there are only about 10 seats left, LaVallie said.

To reserve your seat, call the Convention and Visitor's Bureau at 437-4563. There is no charge for the day.

Matt Merritt can be reached at 434-2214 or by e-mail at