Minutes from March 5th, 2018
The Casper Rotary Club
This week's meeting will be held:
Monday, March 12th, 2018
at the Ramkota Hotel and Conference Center
800 N. Poplar St.
Casper, WY  82601
John Griffith
Lauren Griffith
Carley Applegate
Program: Carter Napier - City of Casper Report
Rotary Club of Casper WY
Meeting Summary
President Richard Schwahn called the meeting to order promptly at 12:29, with the ring of the bell and welcomed everyone to today’s meeting.   
Inspiration, Pledge, 4-Way Test:
Deb Theriault
Jim Ruble and Craig Valdez were our greeters today and Jim introduced the members who brought guests:
  • Bill Thompson introduced Lacy Meade (Jonah Bank);
  • Susie McMurry Introduced Tim Cortez (Parks and Recreation);
  • Liz Becher introduced Vickery Hall (Wyoming Community Foundation);
  • Joe Bennick introduced Jed Shenefelt (Super Nerd);
  • Kevin Murphy introduced Greyson Buckingham (Entrepeuner/Attorney);
  • Martha Rakestraw introduced the mom of our SOM, Kari Brenton;
  • Martha Rakestraw also introduced Larry Meeboer (NCHS);
  • Frida our exchange student was also present and will be moving in with Craig Valdez and family on Sunday;
Gary Pehrson led us in singing “Thank God I’m a Country Boy/Girl”
Vickery Hall, sponsored by Liz Becher, was inducted into the club today; welcome aboard Vickery.
Liz Becher was awarded her Paul Harris Fellow plus 5 pin today!
Family of Rotary:
Martha Rakestraw let us know that Ronna Boril is down with a severe case of pneumonia so keep her in your thoughts and prayers. Martha also told us that Lynn Lockhart’s daughter has returned to her home so please reach out to Lynn and keep in your thoughts and prayers also.
Rotarians of the Week:
  • Kevin Murphy nominated Charlie Shopp for his work with RYLA every year and also Larry Meeboer for nominating youth to attend RYLA.
  • Bill Schilling nominated Dick Jay and John Griffith for graduating PETS with honors this past weekend.
  • Bill also nominated John Jorgensen for agreeing to be the Chairperson for Literacy for our Rotary District.
  • President Richard nominated our exchange student Frida for spending the evening with his family and also for the decision to stay for the end of year trip which will cost her a year to finish her school.
  • Richard also nominated Bill Devore and family for hosting Frida as well as Craig Valdez and family who will be hosting her for the rest of the school year.
Student of the Month:
Martha Rakestraw introduced our SOM Brett Brenton from NCHS, what an outstanding young man with a great future ahead of him.
  • President Schwahn let us know that he has the print out of those who are behind on their dues so if you want to check where you stand you can ask him.
  • Dave McNulty encouraged all of us to get involved with the schools to find out what is happening in the schools. One of the schools has science projects for their younger children and would like to have some volunteers to talk to the children about science. Brian Deurloo and Maribeth Plocek both volunteered to help out next year. Dave said that most of the elementary schools do not do any science classes at all for the younger students since it is not a required test subject. Dave said that he was inspired by Deb Theriault last week who suggested that we as a club could buy some science kits for some of the schools to help teach them about science. So he is checking to see if there is an interest for these kits for the kids. He also thanked Lisa Scroggins for reading to the kids.
Program (Ryan Hauck, Casper Area Convention and Visitors Bureau & Visit Wyoming):
President Elect Dick Jay introduced our speaker today, our very own Ryan Hauck. Ryan is the director of the Casper Area Convention and Visitors Bureau and spoke to us about what they do and how tourism affects Casper’s economy. They are not a part of the Chamber of Commerce, they are their own entity. In 1989 the state legislature decided that each County needed a way to fund itself so they started collecting the voter approved lodging tax that started at 2% and is now at 4%. Visit Casper is the driving force to bring people to Casper, tourism is the second largest industry in Wyoming and they are the driving force for tourism in Natrona County. In the year 2016 Casper had 845,000 overnight visitors. Out of those people they spent $263.1 million in direct travel spending while here. This is a great economic base that helps greatly with our economy by creating 2840 industry related jobs. The State and Local tax receipts came to $13.8 million on the State level and $4.8 million on the local level which help to pay for the infrastructure items like our parks, police etc. They take part of this money to award sponsorships each year, in 2016 they awarded $30,000 to the CNFR and another $30.000 to Proud to Host the Best, and more to others for a total of $130,000. Their annual budget is $1.5 million which they use to bring in all of the tourism and conventions etc. that bring in all of this revenue for the City and County. Casper is the only City in the State to have the Certified Tourism Ambassadors Program where people can train to be an ambassador to answer questions about the City and County when there are visitors that want to know more. He showed us that the Eclipse brought in 21 thousand overnight visitors, $7.5 million spent, $1.3 million in earnings and $740,000 in tax revenue just for that eclipse weekend. He showed us the Facebook page and a lot of things about Casper and the County that help to sell us as the location in the state for conventions and tourism etc. things like the only international airport in the state, the museums, fishing, the lakes, Casper Mountain and all of the things up there and how close it is to the City. The National Historic Trails Interpretive Center is the top place to visit because of the great history. Also all of the money invested in our downtown with the David Street Station and how wonderful that is for visitors and citizens alike. We also have some very nice hotels and convention spaces in Casper, he showed us a few of them, like he Quality Inn here is number two in the nation for Quality Inns. We have the events Center that seats over 9 thousand and can host huge events, other places in town can host small to large events as well. There are lots of leisure activities here that also bring people in like our fishing, the mountain trails, our parks with activities, miles of hiking trails, our three lakes for fishing, boating etc. our Nordic ski trails, Hogadon downhill skiing and so on. The Millennials are the target market because they like the outdoors and they like to spend the money to do these things that we have lots of. CNFR is one of our biggest events that brings lots of visitors and has become very well-known and branded now as going to Casper instead of going to the finals. So many great things that Casper has to offer and their job is to use these great things to market Casper to visitors and to bring in more tourism dollars for our City and County. Check them out at
President Richard Schwahn concluded the meeting at 1:29 letting us know that next week we will be back at the Ramkota and the speaker will be Carter Napier with the City of Casper.
Rotary Reveal Q&A
Name: Frida Contreras Rivas
1. What book or books are you reading right now? "Scared Selfless by Michelle Stevens."
2. What is your all-time favorite ice cream flavor? "My favorite ice cream flavor is lime."
3. What has been your single best experience while living here in Casper? "My best experience in Casper is when I had my first race in alpine ski and had fun with my team."
4. If you could have had even just a one-line speaking part in any movie in history, what movie would you most like to have been in? "Sybil as the therapist."
5. If you could have dinner with up to three people from history, who would they be? "Frida Kahlo, Sigmund Freud and I'm not sure about the last one."
Russell Hampton
National Awards Services Inc.