Tuesday, November 20, 2012

DECA visits the Pen

DECA Students Experience Travel & Tourism and Restaurant Management industries first hand

On November 14, DECA students from Columbia Area Career Center participated in a travel and tourism and restaurant management marketing experience. The students from the marketing organization traveled to Jefferson City to tour the former Missouri State Penitentiary which was followed by lunch at Coley’s American Bistro in downtown Columbia.

At the prison, the 39 DECA students visited various areas of the prison and heard stories of its illustrious past. The prison, which was in operation from 1836 – 2004, now provides guided tours to visitors. Many of the stories were told first hand by a tour guide who was also the prison’s former warden. After the tour, Marianne Thies, sales manager for the Jefferson City Visitor’s Bureau, conducted a “Question & Answer” session where students asked specific questions about the prison and how it is marketed to the public. Ms. Thies explained the marketing and advertising plans that have produced successful results with the prison hosting more than 19,000 visitors this year alone. Students also heard from movie producer/director Andrew Jones who was at the prison preparing to film his upcoming movie which will be shot on location. Mr. Jones also answered students’ questions about the movie industry and the marketing of a film.

After the presentation, students traveled back to Columbia where they enjoyed lunch at Coley’s American Bistro. After a fantastic lunch, restaurateur and head chef Brian Coley, 27, discussed how an entrepreneur opens and markets a new restaurant. After four years of operation, Coley’s continues to grow in downtown Columbia. Coley explained to the students how hard work, great food and customer service result in a loyal clientele.

DECA advisors Pete Eichholz and Scott Fuenfhausen would like to thank Marianne and Brian for their part in providing our DECA students with “real world” marketing insights.

If you would like to visit the Missouri State Penitentiary, go to:

If you would like to visit Coley’s American Bistro, go to:

DECA students tour the Pen

DECA students pose in a cell

DECA students pose in a cell

Q & A with Andrew Jones and  Mrs. Thies

Coley's   15 South 6th Street, Columbia

Brian Coley talks to the group about restaurant ownership

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