Bill Chapin, chief executive at See Rock City Inc., was awarded the Tom Kilgore Lifetime Achievement Award from Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal this month.
"Chapin has dedicated himself to maintaining and developing the vitality of Rock City and its gardens, which continue to draw sightseers from across the nation," Deal said. "He strives to create an environment where tourists enjoy themselves so much that they return for a separate visit."
SRC President and Chief Operating Officer Susan Harris said the award recognizes an individual who exemplifies outstanding lifetime commitment towards tourism.
"SRC, Inc. was excited to support Bill for this well-deserved honor for someone who loves and champions our industry, our places and our people," she said.
Chapin purchased the family-owned, Lookout Mountain attraction in 1985 from his father. It was founded in 1932 by his great-uncle, Garnet Carter.
Several companies have been added to SRC Inc. over the years under Chapin's leadership as well as multimillion-dollar renovations through the years and a full festival and annual event lineup. SRC also owns and operates the Battles for Chattanooga Museum, Clumpies Ice Cream Co., the Incline Railway concessions and ticketing, and Grandview Conference Center on Lookout Mountain and Blowing Springs Farm in Flintstone, Ga.
Chapin was one of nine award winners recognized during the 2017 Georgia Governor's Tourism Conference on Jekyll Island.
"The tourism industry is a vital economic engine for Georgia, as it generated a record-breaking $60.8 billion in economic impact and provided employment for more than 450,000 Georgians last year," Deal said. "The hard work of these individuals [recognized with the awards] contributes not only to Georgia's ranking as the No. 1 state in which to do business, but helps to solidify our reputation as the No. 1 state to visit and call home."