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Southeast Tourism Society President Monica Smith presents award to Rock City Owner Bill Chapin. (Photo by Tony Giese)

Bill Chapin, CEO of See Rock City Inc., was honored last week by the Southeast Tourism Society with the Dorothy Hardman Spirit of STS Award at the annual Shining Example Awards in Daytona Beach, Florida.

"I cannot imagine a more perfect recipient for the Spirit of STS award," said Susan Harris, president of Rock City. "Bill is the ultimate tourism advocate, and he has lived and breathed the beauty and experience our industry provides to our guests and our partners for more than 33 years."

Rock City Gardens opened to the public in 1932 and Bill Chapin became a third-generation owner of the Lookout Mountain attraction in 1985 when he purchased the attraction from his father. Chapin had also followed in the entrepreneurial footsteps of his great aunt and uncle, Garnet and Frieda (Utermoehlen) Carter, Rock City's founders, as he paved the way for more properties to be added to company. See Rock City also owns the Battles for Chattanooga museum, the Starbucks at the Incline Railway, RiverView Inn, Clumpies Ice Cream and the Grandview Conference Center on Lookout Mountain.

"Bill Chapin has been an exemplary tourism champion over his career," said Karen Baker with PGAV Destinations. "He has dedicated much of his life to helping establish and promote Rock City as a destination, while also being a good tourism partner and visionary in Chattanooga, Lookout Mountain, and the states of Georgia and Tennessee."

Headquartered in Roswell, Georgia, STS is an association that works to unite the travel and tourism industry through education, advocacy, recognition and networking.

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