Gorrell decides to leave CAPC

Wednesday, August 11, 2004
LeRoy Gorrell

LeRoy Gorrell has decided not to renew his contract as executive director of the Eureka Springs City Advertising and Promotion Commission (CAPC).

The announcement came after a 27-minute executive session during a special CAPC meeting Thursday afternoon.

"LeRoy has decided not to renew his contract, as of Sept. 15," said CAPC Chairman Steve Roberson.

"Because of his decision, we (the commission) have decided to eliminate the position of executive director. Lynn Berry has agreed to become administrative coordinator in addition to her duties as marketing director."

Gorrell was hired Sept. 3, 2003, following the resignation of Barbara King Dozier in late June. His salary was $48,000, plus a $300 per month car allowance.

Berry was offered the same car allowance on top of her salary, bringing the total to $47,600.

Gorrell is a former publisher of the Times-Echo and long-time resident of Eureka Springs.

"There is an environment within the city I can't work with," Gorrell said after the meeting.

"Some attitudes are bad whether the economy is good or bad, and moreso when the economy is bad. It is their own responsibility to change and make things business better. If people really believe it is someone else's responsibility to make business better, then I can't go on.

"The people in this (CAPC) office have been delightful to work with, but there are those outside this office who are difficult. If this was a company, I would not renew my contact with the company," he said.

Berry, who has been with the CAPC four years and through three directors, said "This is a turning point. We have a good team and we will expand the team, continuing to work with the Greater Eureka Springs Chamber of Commerce and the other groups in town.

"Everyone in the office knows how to do their jobs and they are able to work on their own. I don't anticipate a lot of additional work with the administration duties."

Roberson said Gorrell had talked to him about a week ago about his situation.

"He will be missed. He has done an excellent job and I am sorry he is going. On the other hand, I am excited about the changes we are making and I think the future will be good for us," Roberson said.

The changes he was referring to came during the second special meeting Thursday afternoon.

Commissioners agreed to contact five advertising agencies in Arkansas and Missouri about handling the city's advertising campaigns.

The group had agreed to a "hybrid" approach, keeping the creative production and marketing in the local office and having the agency do the media purchases and assisting with promotion.

Commissioners agreed they wanted to hear presentations from agencies with a knowledge and experiences with Arkansas, the tourism markets and have an ability to work with the state's Department of Parks and Tourism.

Roberson said there would be approximately $385,000 available for advertising next year with $40,000 for market consulting work.

Gorrell will contact the agencies and schedule presentations for the commission.

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