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Quarterly Update from Executive Director, Devin Heath

2022: The Power of WE

As the calendar year approaches our final few months and the fiscal year for Visit Natchez is about to close, it’s important to reflect on all that was accomplished in our amazing city this year. Natchez has rebounded well from the unparalleled challenges of the pandemic, home sales have reached new levels, new businesses are moving to Natchez, there are new opportunities for future development on the horizon and tourism is growing at extraordinary levels.

Not only are Mississippians and neighboring states coming to visit, but travelers from all over the United States and, quicker than expected, so are our fans from international countries. Every day we hear about encounters with visitors from Italy, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Holland, and others! Wherever they are from, they find Natchez to be unique and more than they anticipated. It is energizing to see our visitors discover Natchez, fall in love with our city and vow to return or begin plans to find a home and become our newest Natchoosians.

As we look back at our year, it is important to recognize how we have been able to do what we’ve accomplished so we can continue to grow. As Visit Natchez is directly targeted on growing tourism and place-building, we are able to see how tourism affects all aspects of quality of life in our bluff city. We also see how all aspects of Natchez life affect tourism. One thing is for certain…we are accomplishing a lot and we all have a hand in the success.

Visit Natchez does a tremendous amount of work to tell the stories of Natchez around the world to entice visitors to come. And when they come, our restaurants, hotels, stores, shops and “everyday citizens” they meet during their visit provide them with a great experience. Our mayor, board of aldermen, county supervisors and staffs are working to make our region grow and developing projects to better the quality of life and experience for our citizens and visitors. Our police, fire and sheriff departments have developed new programs as well as added new equipment, resources, and more first responders to keep our community safe. The community organizations like Visit Natchez and many others are seeing rapid success for programs and initiatives.

We are blessed to be in our situation with so many bright prospects on our horizon. Many other cities are fighting significant challenges that we have been fortunate to avoid, and we pray for their success to overcome those obstacles. And while we pray for them, it is important to remember why we are so blessed. Our biggest asset is our people because our community is so hardworking, welcoming, and supportive. For all that we are blessed with, it has all come to pass because of our community and leaders working together. No one person or organization made this all happen. Success always comes because of teamwork and working together.

We have so many people and organizations working together to make the future of Natchez bright. It is important to remember that we can all benefit from our success, and we can all contribute as well. Working together and supporting each other is how we have done it so far and how Natchez will continue to rise. “WE” need to remember that WE rise and fall together. As the saying goes, “A rising tide lifts all boats.” As we approach our new year, let us all celebrate our successes and commit ourselves to working together more in the future.

Devin Heath
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