Thank you for your interest in the Auburn/Opelika Community.
Meet the Staff
The Auburn-Opelika Tourism Bureau is an economic enhancement tool for the
communities of Auburn, Opelika and Lee County. We promote and develop our
area through the travel and tourism industry and introduce the unique spirit
of Auburn-Opelika to visitors from around the world.
The AO Tourism Bureau distributes over 385,000 pieces of resource materials to area visitors each year.
Thousands of convention bags were provided to event attendees in 2010, contributing to a 6% increase ($1,828,901) in room revenue so far this year.
The AO Tourism Bureau spends over $380,000 in advertising and promotion for the Auburn-Opelika area each year.
Our website is visited by over 1200 unique individual users per day.
Lee County enjoyed over $239 million in visitor spending for 2009, resulting in 4649 jobs; tourism is the area's second largest employer after Auburn University.
Visitors spent $172,080,000 with Auburn-Opelika restaurants and retailers in 2009.
The population of Lee County has grown from 115,092 to 140,247 in the last 10 years. This is a growth of 25,155 or 21.86 percent.
Below you will find various ways to reach the Auburn-Opelika Tourism Bureau. Please feel free to contact us for any of your Auburn/Opelika needs.
John C. Wild, CHA
John Wild has worked in the hospitality & tourism industry for 30 years, serving as President of the Tourism Bureau since May of 2003 while previously managing the Auburn University Hotel & Dixon Conference Center. John is actively involved in the community and serves on the boards of many local and industry organizations including the Auburn Rotary Club, United Way of Lee County and the Alabama Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaus. Contact John for advertising opportunities and sporting tournament bids.
John is an avid photographer and enjoys attending many of the local events and taking sports photos for the Auburn Villager. While a true Auburn fan, he has lived in several university towns and still responds to Go Green or Go Buffs! John, with his wife Barbara, have two grown children living in North Carolina and the Atlanta area. Hiking in the mountains or on trails in the West with his camera is a favorite hobby.
DID YOU KNOW???
- John’s favorite sandwich is the Hook & Ladder from Firehouse Subs. Complete this perfect meal with a brownie and a diet coke to neutralize the calories.
- John moved to 4 states in 18 months. From Boulder, Colorado to Naples, Florida to Billings, Montana to Michigan. Then to Auburn which has been a 20+ year stint.
- John is the official photographer for the Tourism Bureau and The Villager.
Robyn L. Bridges, CRDE
Vice President & PR Director
Robyn Bridges has almost 15 years experience in the hospitality industry. She served as a Rooms Division Manager with the Hotel at Auburn University before joining the Tourism Bureau in October 2003. Robyn is a past president and board member for the Public Relations Council of Alabama and was elected the local chapter’s Practitioner of the Year for 2007. She has served as a vice board chair in marketing and resource development for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Lee County and is also active on many industry boards and committees. Her work has been recognized by the Public Relations Council of Alabama, the Southern Public Relations Federation, and the Alabama Hospitality Association. Contact Robyn for news, story ideas, media kits, and all your leisure travel needs.
DID YOU KNOW???
- Robyn graduated from the University of Alabama, but has lived in Auburn for almost 20 years and is in a 'house divided.'
- Robyn majored in French in college and is now wondering why she didn’t choose Spanish.
- Robyn loves to knit, but the staff is still waiting for her to make us all something.
Cindy L. Pugh
After 20 years in the travel industry Cindy joined the Auburn Opelika Tourism Bureau in December 2005 . Her many years as a Corporate Travel Agent with Fair Winds Travel has provided her a wealth of experience in attending to the travel needs of groups and businesses. Cindy markets the Auburn-Opelika area to groups, conferences and sporting events around the nation. Cindy served on the Board of Directors for Opelika Mainstreet, is a member of The Piedmont Bird Trail Committee, and does volunteer work for the March of Dimes. Contact Cindy for all your meeting and group tour needs.
DID YOU KNOW???
- Cindy has seen every episode of the Brady Bunch at least 10 times each.
- Cindy is the great granddaughter of US Congressman Henry B. Steagall who co-authored the FDIC bill (The Glass-Steagall Act) in 1933.
- Cindy is OFA (originally from Auburn)
Cat Watson graduated from Auburn University with a degree in Public Relations in 2015 and now serves as the Communications Specialist for the AOTB. Cat is currently a Diplomat for the Auburn Chamber of Commerce and is looking forward to Leadership Lee County. Cat is a true Auburn local, having lived here her whole life. She enjoys writing and loves to edit even more. In her free time, Cat enjoys practicing yoga, camping, good food and traveling. Contact Cat for anything involving the calendar, events, photography or social media.
DID YOU KNOW???
- Cat is a tv series connoisseur. She likes to nerd-out with Game of Thrones, Walking Dead, Stranger Things & anything on HBO.
- Cat has a weak spot for animals in need of adopting. She’s adopted numerous cats, dogs and even snakes.
- Cat worked for The Plainsman while at Auburn University and still copy edits for no reason in her spare time.
Brooke Peace Harris
Digital Marketing Manager
Brooke Peace Harris graduated from Auburn University with a degree in Communications. She has lived in Auburn for over 10 years. Her experience in public relations, marketing and community involvement make her a great fit for the AOTB! Brooke is a member of the Public Relations Council of Alabama and serves on the board for the local East Alabama Chapter. She loves reading, yoga, running and spending time with her dogs. Contact Brooke for all things web, social, and marketing related!
DID YOU KNOW???
- Brooke and her husband are expecting their first child in November!
- Brooke was a member of the Auburn University Danceline in college and minored in dance.
- Brooke loves traveling of all kinds, but her favorite place is always the beach.