Mayor honored with tourism leadership award

Published 11:51 am Wednesday, October 13, 2021

SPARTANBURG, Ga. — Lake Charles Mayor Nic Hunter is the recipient of the Shining Example Award for Governmental Tourism Leadership by the Southeast Tourism Society.

The award was garnered through Hunter demonstrating consistent vision and passion for developing partnerships with Visit Lake Charles and other tourism-related entities to promote Lake Charles as a desirable destination for leisure visitation.

In addition to the resolute leadership Hunter provided following the unprecedented storms of 2020 — Hurricane Laura, Tropical Storm Beta and Hurricane Delta — followed by Winter Storm Uri in February of 2021, Hunter has been a champion for tourism since he took office in 2017.

As a lifelong resident and restaurateur, Hunter is deeply rooted in the hospitality industry. He has led the charge on many projects that bolster the tourism products and promotion of Lake Charles. Several projects include building upon Visit Lake Charles “Meet the Locals” video series. He also worked with the Visit Lake Charles team to create the #GetDowntownLC microsite, initiative and mechanism for promoting events in downtown Lake Charles.

Hunter promoted the Nellie Lutcher Better Block project along with the Community Foundation of Southwest Louisiana and Visit Lake Charles. There have been several new businesses open in the district, and the city of Lake Charles is working on a Nellie Lutcher Pocket Park.

Hunter launched the Partners in Parks Initiative in July 2018, securing nearly $750,000 in private donations and grants. These funds have been used to transform several city parks and re-invigorate programming. The Partners in Parks Initiative received a first-place Community Achievement Award from the Louisiana Municipal Association in August 2019.

Making good on his promise to “turn dirt on the lakefront,” Hunter announced the lakefront development project Port Wonder, a $20 million-plus science and nature center and state of the art children’s museum.

Hunter’s administration has been forward-thinking and supportive for a myriad of events for the Lake Area from the USA Boxing Olympic Trials to the soon-to-be held World LNG & Gas Series: 18th Americas Summit later this year to the PGA Korn Ferry Lake Charles Championship tournament in 2022.