Downtown gets a boost from NDI tour groups
By By ANNA M. LEE Assistant Editor
For several months, busloads of garden club members and church groups from Florida, Mississippi and all over Alabama have been visiting Brewton to tour Natural Decorations Inc. (NDI) and shop downtown.
NDI has hosted 25 to 30 groups since they started doing group tours about a year ago.
NDI had the idea to host tours about a year ago because they had been getting requests for groups to tour the plant. The company created a brochure to advertise their tours, and once it was completed in August, word spread quickly.
Interest in Brewton and NDI has grown thanks to word-of-mouth after those early visits. NDI chief executive officer Carol Gordy said that people who visit on the bus tours go back and tell their friends and then they come into Brewton for their own visits.
When a group comes for a tour, they start with a visit to the NDI plant.
After the tour, most groups go downtown for lunch and to shop.
On one occasion, Ruzic asked Mayor Ted Jennings to ride along in the tour bus and give the visitors some historic insight into Brewton.
A boost to downtown commerce is an obvious side effect of these group visits.
Currently, Becki Neal, owner of The Hourglass is working on a shopping map of downtown businesses for visitors.
Neal expects the maps to be available in a few weeks in downtown stores, the Brewton Area Chamber of Commerce and at rest stops on the interstate.