FRANKFORT, Ky. (April 16, 2008) - Tourists looking for outdoor
adventures may now enjoy parts of Kentucky like never before. Gov. Steve Beshear, joined by First Lady Jane Beshear, today signed Senate Bill 196, opening more areas of the state as tourist destinations for bikers, hikers, campers, fishermen, hunters, off-roaders and horseback riders.
"Some of Kentucky's most breathtaking sites are tucked away in the far
reaches of someone's private property," said Mrs. Beshear. "This bill
makes all 120 counties in Kentucky a destination for outdoor adventure
The Adventure Tourism Bill, sponsored by Sen. Brandon Smith (R-Hazard), allows the state to enter into agreements with private property owners for the public use of land for outdoor activities without fear of facing liability issues.
Gov. Beshear applauded the bipartisan effort behind the passage of
Senate Bill 196. In addition to Smith, Sen. Robert Stivers
(R-Manchester) and Reps. Leslie Combs (D-Pike), Robin Webb (D-Grayson) and Keith Hall (D-Phelps) co-sponsored the bill.
"I thank each of them for working together to promote the tourist
opportunities we have throughout the commonwealth and for recognizing the positive social and economic effects this legislation will have on the state," the governor said.
Lt. Gov. Daniel Mongiardo also was a strong partner of the legislation.
"Today, we take the first step towards making Kentucky the nation's
premier adventure tourism destination," the lieutenant governor said.
"The economic, social and development benefits for our state as a result of adventure tourism will be unlike anything seen within the
Tourism is Kentucky's third-largest industry, with a $10.1 billion
annual economic impact. It currently generates 175,000 jobs in the state
and $987 million in tax revenue. The commonwealth's state park system is regarded as one of the best in the nation. It is made up of 53 state
parks and historical sites, 17 of which offer overnight accommodations
and are considered "resort parks" - the most of any state.