A Message from our CEO
Dear Belle of Louisville Riverboats Supporters-
First, a little story. New in my role and full of fresh energy and ideas, the crew and I started 2020 with renewed creativity. We were filled with hope and enthusiasm to build an even more relevant cultural heritage organization that provides not only fun and entertainment, but also historical programming and education in meaningful and interactive ways. But you probably already know where this story is heading…
Just before our 2020 season was about to kick off in March—complete with new cruise types and never-before-seen experiences– the global COVID pandemic hit the U.S., hitting us during THE time of year that we make much-needed revenue. Three months later in mid-June, we were safely able to finally start our 2020 cruising season, albeit with capacity restrictions for safety and a limited cruise schedule due to the drastic decrease in tourism traffic to the city.
Now, as we approach the year-end, we realize that, despite the hard knocks that 2020 has dealt us financially, we’ve made progress nonetheless— creating new branding that better captures the Belle’s spirit and the nostalgia of a bygone era; revealing a new more user-friendly website that allows us to better showcase all that we do; launching a membership program, the Paddlewheel Society, that gives supporters an easy way to enjoy perks while also sustaining our preservation and expanded education efforts.
Belle of Louisville Riverboats also produced some really special events this season, despite limitations, that provided a small taste of what’s to come, including a Tribute to the Great Steamboat Race — because some Derby time traditions are just too important to pass up! —and our sold-out Pirate cruises, expected to become a new annual tradition.
In this unprecedented year, we’ve also been encouraged by your support through ticket sales, donations and the show of solidarity from our founding Paddlewheel Society members. While this year has undoubtedly knocked the wind out of the proverbial sails of many, including us here at the Fourth Street Wharf, we still look forward to 2021 with optimism and a newfound perspective that tough times often bring. We can’t wait to share more about what we have planned in the new year!
In the meantime, in this season of gratitude and helping others, I want to share two key messages:
- From the bottom of our hearts, THANK YOU!
I remain so grateful for your support, now more than ever before! As a non-profit organization, your donations and purchases enable us to continue to preserve our two National Historic Landmarks (including Life Saving Station #10) and to develop programming that celebrates them and the important role the river has played in the history of Louisville and America.
2. The season is over, but we’re still here to help with your gift-giving needs!
Please continue supporting Belle of Louisville Riverboats by purchasing from our online Gift Shop, buying a membership, making a donation in someone’s honor or booking a 2021 cruise experience.
If nothing else, 2020 has taught us how interconnected we all are—just like the rivers that crisscross this country– and how much we need each other to survive and thrive. That lesson certainly hits home for me. I know we can’t continue our mission to preserve and celebrate American river history and Louisville’s unique story without your help. Please make a donation or purchase today. Every gift counts.
With Much Appreciation,
Krista Snider, CTA
Chief Executive Officer
Belle of Louisville Riverboats