Adventure Tourism

By: Amanda Price Email
By: Amanda Price Email

Adventure tourism promises to improve the economy across Eastern Kentucky, but not everyone's convinced.

Lieutenant Governor Mongiardo was at the Kentucky Elk Country Expo Banquet where he said hunting is just one form of adventure tourism, something he says Kentucky needs.

In the last 40 years, Lieutenant Governor Mongiardo says nothing has changed. He says Eastern Kentucky still has some of the most distressed counties in all of Appalachia and it's time for an economic boost. “We've got assets like the largest elk herd east of the Rocky Mountains; we have a trail system that the coal industry has given to us that's just laying there dormant.”

Lieutenant Governor Mongiardo says Kentucky has not taken advantage of its assets and strengths and adventure tourism will help Kentucky's economy grow. “We've done a lot of research on this, and the number one reason people go somewhere is for a trail. Whether it's for a hiking trail, or a biking trail, or horse trail or a four wheeler trail. If that's first on the list then we need to focus on that.”

In a time of statewide budget cuts, some wonder if we should be spending money on adventure tourism, and some landowners still have concerns about trails that could affect their property. Doug Hensley says once officials figure out the answers to these concerns, adventure tourism will be a reality and an opportunity. “When we get that done, there's going to be lots of people coming to east Kentucky, not only to hunt elk, to view elk but to ride horses, to ride ATV’s.”

Lieutenant Governor Mongiardo says, “Well the amazing thing is it does not cost a whole lot because the trail system is already there, the expense that has been put into it has been put into by the coal industry who has built these trails to haul coal or the logging industry.”

Lieutenant Governor Mongiardo says project expenses will be mostly paid for by requiring people to get permits to ride. He says, right now they're taking inventory of the trails and seeing what land needs to be preserved, and what land needs to be set aside for fish and wildlife.

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  • by jake Location: Hindman on Sep 15, 2008 at 07:38 AM
    Guess what,most of these ATV dudes don't have any insurance and some don't even posses a drivers liscense so who pays all the hospital bills? well it's us the taxpayer through medicaid. All sounds good doesn't it??????????????????
  • by Bill on Sep 15, 2008 at 05:18 AM
    How will the sheriffs office handle all the ATVs the deps. confiscate,and all the ciy folk in our jails.Holbrook will have build a 20 foot wall around Fish Trap.=Bad Idea,our goverment won't be able to handle it.
  • by CRYSTAL Location: KNOTT CO. on Sep 14, 2008 at 10:25 PM
    Retired hate to bust your bubble, but the pockets are being lined everday. These events that are taking place in Knott Co. have no ticket sales, and you and i know that cash sales cannot be traced. Someone is diping into the cookie jar. And as for kids on drugs, (work them to dark)and you will see the kids won't to go to bed so they can get rest and sleep, you are retired, so you must be old enough to remenber the good days when everone had to work. There is more to a kid's life than to play basketball and ride ATVs, these kids need to learn how to accel in life. And there no way this elk think will work to provide jobs, nor will it put any monies back into the economy or benfit this county as a whole, not just a select few.
  • by Melissa Location: Kentucky on Sep 14, 2008 at 05:45 PM
    W H A T A B O U T Accidents and Personal Injury Law Suits, Liability, Liable and other actions that can be taken in a Court of Law if someone gets hurt? Sounds like this will not only be " Open Season on East Kentuckians ", but the Court's as well!
  • by William Location: seky on Sep 14, 2008 at 05:13 PM
    In most cases the exploitation of people and use of there land in the name of Park and recreation the money does not go to disadvantaged people it goes back in to the state, Then the state makes even more laws to redirect the funds to special interest without any regard to real progress to the people in a region...tell me how this is going to help develop Appalachia not its rich put its poor.
  • by Retired Location: Knott Co on Sep 14, 2008 at 09:08 AM
    Of course, not everyone is convinced!! Those people are the ones who want to keep the status quo. They are not interested in trying anything new or anything that will not line some county officials pocket!! I was at the Elk Expo and it was enjoyable and I hope it grows. We want to keep kids off drugs? Give them things to do!! The Trail Rides and things of that nature are great for this, as well as bringing in people from other areas..yes, they will spend money and though it is starting small,,it will grow and bring progress...what's wrong with that?
  • by William Location: seky on Sep 14, 2008 at 12:09 AM
    That sounds like a good idea let them ride by the poverty stricken areas and see the Poverty trails, They can say Ohh my can you believe people still live like this in America ,,,( ohh please get a picture of me standing in front this tailor park while, what they going to call it the Poverty Tours come and see the hillbilly's and there way of life , park your car and rent a RV and explore the area for your self see the doors under the mobile homes see the homemade structures watch the povelits play in there front yard as you watch from a atv trail, and shoot over there heads at elk and see the povlites disburse from as the guns echo in the Appalachian trails ,When you vacation in Ky you will leave and return home with a story and will say to your children be thankful that you don't live like that you would not believe where daddy has been maby you could adopt one of the povlites or get a special limited print to hang on your wall beside a elk head back in New York.


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