CLEAR FORK VALLEY — A Bellville business received an award Wednesday at the annual meeting of Destination Mansfield.
The group, which promotes tourism and other activities in the area, awarded businesses for excelling in hospitality.
The Wishmaker House, in Bellville, was named as a member in the Wine and Ale Trail group in Richland County.
The awards were announced by Destination Mansfield president Lee Tasseff.
Representatives of The Wishmaker House could not be at the meeting to receive the award. Owners of The Wishmaker House are Brad and Karen Smith. Their daughter Cassie works with the wine business located there. Her husband, Vic Swisher, is the maker of the wine. Swisher is a Bellville council member.
Three other groups received awards.
They were the Mid Ohio Sports Car Course, which is bringing back the Sports Car Club of America national championships run-offs.
Wayne’s Country Market, which is on State Route 42 between Lexington and Mansfield, was named for sustained excellence.
The “Shawshank Experience,” a book, also won. It was written by Maura Grady and Tony Magistrate.
Other members of the Wine and Ale Trail were also named. They are 1285 Winery at The Blueberry Patch, Cypress Hill Winery, The Happy Grape Wine Bar and Bistro, Laxton Hollow Brewing Works, The Phoenix Brewing Company, and The Vault Wine Bar.
Tasseff, in starting his discussion before the group, said there was a “whole new level of cozy.” He proceeded to take a selfie with his cell phone.
He listed businesses which have been around for 20 years, and up to 170 years.
Operations at Destination Mansfield have been upgraded,Tasseff said. The group took on its new name this year. They now have a system set up so people looking up information on the internet about attractions here will be able to use a link, where they can go directly to a site where they can book a room.
The group feels good because of the return of the SCCA, and wants to keep getting information out to people about how the Shawshank Redemption was filmed here.
This year will be the 25th anniversary of the filming of that movie.
Rock told people gathered at the annual meeting “why we do what we do.”
The amount of money spent on tourism is large — $304.2 million. There are 4,400 jobs which require “critical skills” in keeping tourism going, he said.
He talked about information on opportunities in Richland County. The filming of The Shawshank Redemption here was information given to people before the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.
The recent destruction of the tree used in that film was circulated widely, he said.
“No one does a dead tree better than us,” he said.
Photos of the tree were circulated on the internet.