Visit Hendricks County Receives Two Statewide Tourism Honors

EVANSVILLE, IN (March 19, 2024) – The Indiana Tourism Association awarded Visit Hendricks County (VHC) with two awards during last week’s Indiana Tourism Conference in Evansville, Ind., marking the first time the organization won an award since 2018.

VHC won in the Best Specialty Item category for a project in which they partnered with Timber City Coffee Company to honor long-time local leader and former Tourism Commission and HCCVB, Inc. Board member Kent McPhail who retired at the end of 2023.

The idea for creating the McPhail Blend came as VHC considered how to honor a man who meant so much to local tourism. Upon his retirement, McPhail was the longest tenured tourism board member ever serving 23 years.

The out-of-state judges loved the idea of finding a creative and meaningful way to celebrate a man who devoted so many years to the industry saying, “What a wonderful way to enhance the local experience while honoring a deserving volunteer, and you helped a local business to boot. Winner all the way around.”

VHC also won for Best New Experience (Among Marketing Budgets over $300,000) after nominating The Prewitt Restaurant and Lounge for its renovation and reuse in turning a historic theater into a fine-dining destination.

The Best New Experience award celebrates a new attraction, photo spot or special exhibit. A group of local investors took on the daunting project to repurpose the shuttered Prewitt Theatre to help fulfill part of the town of Plainfield’s overall vision for its downtown re-development.

The judges were impressed with the commitment by everyone involved to turn an unused historic building into a downtown community focal point. One said, “Most impressed by its focus on retaining the unique use of the original space. This is a new experience that can attract residents and visitors throughout the year.”

The awards were two of 13 handed out at the Indiana Tourism Conference. Visit Hendricks County beat numerous other nominees in each category.

“It was such a joy to win these two awards,” said Jaime Bohler Smith, executive director/CEO of Visit Hendricks County. “It celebrates the work our staff puts toward developing creative programs for Hendricks County businesses.

“We don’t get recognized for the specifics we do because we promote the businesses that make up the destination Hendricks County, not our organization,” she added.

In addition to the two awards, Visit Hendricks County also celebrated two staff members’ successes. VHC Sales Manager Stone Miller graduated from the 2024 Indiana Tourism Academy and received his Certified Indiana Tourism Professional (CITP) designation at the same ceremony. It was also announced that Tourism Marketing Manager Kim Fox was accepted into the 2025 Indiana Tourism Academy.

The Hendricks County Convention and Visitors Bureau, Inc., d/b/a Visit Hendricks County attracts visitors to the county by promoting and developing tourism, which stimulates economic growth and enhances quality of life.  For more information, visit our website at or call (317) 718-8750.

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