Turnover at Tourism

By: Leah Garey
By: Leah Garey

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The Lauderdale County Tourism Bureau's executive director resigned Thursday. During her three years in this position, Wanda Grabert has increased the money flow by making Lauderdale County more appealing to visitors.

"The hotel tax is up eight percent. It's higher than it has been in the last six years," said Grabert. "And I chart that and we feel our advertising and our activity and promotion of events is making Meridian more desirable as an overnight stay."

Prior to her official resignation, graybeards requested a raise from Lauderdale County supervisors. She did receive a raise, but it was not as significant as she had hoped.

"The dollar amount was less than $2,000 a year," said Lauderdale County Administrator Tony Green. "Her raise was in line and consistent with what we were presenting all the other employees, to be consistent with what our job study revealed."

However, Grabert insists that the rejection of her requested raise had nothing to do with her reason for resignation..

"I've been made an offer to occupy an office in a 17,000 square foot office building in Gulf Shores, Alabama. I have quite a history down there. I have sold in the past, $53 million worth of property," said Grabert of her return to real estate.

Lauderdale County's Tourism Bureau says it will continue on as planned as it searches for a replacement to fill the executive director position.

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