Robber’s Cave, former Lincoln zoo president get top Nebraska tourism honors

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) — One tourist hot spot in Lincoln, and a driving force behind another, were recognized at the annual Nebraska Tourism Conference on Thursday.

Lincoln Children’s Zoo President Emeritus John Chapo received the 2022 Henry Fonda Award. The award is the highest honor given at the event.

As the zoo’s third president and CEO, Chapo oversaw expansions that tripled the zoo’s size and brought an additional 260 animals.

Chapo serves on multiple boards of multiple organizations in Lincoln, including the Capital Humane Society, Lincoln Center Kiwanis and the Lincoln Municipal Band.

The Outstanding Tourism Attraction Award was given to Robber’s Cave Tours for its “universal appeal” and “positive reputation.”

The Nebraska Tourism Commission says Robber’s Cave has attracted tourists from all 50 states while becoming a hot spot for social media influencers and other celebrities.

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“Each year, we have the honor of looking through nominations from events and attractions that work hard to make Nebraska a great place to visit,” John Ricks, the Nebraska Tourism Commission’s executive director, said in a press release. “There are so many outstanding and creative projects happening across Nebraska, and we love to recognize them.”

Seward’s Fourth of July Celebration was also honored for its nationally recognized display, which attracted over 50,000 attendees in 2022.

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