GIRARD — The Crawford County Commission received an update on tourism at its regular meeting Friday.

Pittsburg Area Chamber of Commerce Vice President of Operations Devin Gorman attended the meeting to discuss tourism numbers and activity since stepping into the interim executive director of the Crawford County Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Gorman has served in the position vacated by B.J. Harris for two weeks now, and wanted to update the commission on where CVB’s contracts and plans stand.

Gorman said with the opening of the Hampton Inn and Suites in Pittsburg, the number of hotel rooms in the county moved up from 383 to 506.

“Our occupancy rates are staying about the same,” Gorman said. “But we also have a lot more hotel rooms, so we’re really up about 28 to 30 percent each month.”

Gorman also said that $19,000 more was brought in from transient guest tax in June 2017 over June 2016.

Pittsburg will be hosting several sporting events over the next few years including the 5A State Football Championship on November 25 and the 2018 Shrine Bowl. CVB is also bidding on multiple National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics track and field meets for 2020.

The county will also be host to a three-day motorcycle rally next June, as well as multiple county government conventions.

Chamber President Blake Benson attended the meeting with Gorman, and said the deadline for applicants to fill Harris’ position was last week. The hiring committee has been review applications and plans to bring in three candidates for interviews.

“I’m very proud of the candidates we’ve had apply and will get to interview,” Benson said. “There has been a lot of talented people apply.”

The commission had a work session before the regular meeting to discuss a neighborhood revitalization plan, and will continue the discussion in a work session at 9 a.m. September 26.

Commissioner Jeff Murphy reported that a grocery store has opened in McCune and will have its grand opening at 10 a.m. September 22.

September 18 the commission will attend an economic development meeting with the City of Frontenac at 5:30 p.m. at Frontenac Town Hall.

IMA Consulting will present the commission with insurance proposals from multiple companies September 19.

— Chance Hoener is a staff writer for the Morning Sun. He can be emailed at or follow him on Twitter @ReporterChance.