Governor Pushes For Adventure Tourism In The Mountains

By: Angela Sparkman Email
By: Angela Sparkman Email

A big push from the governor for adventure tourism in the mountains.

He says it could create 1,500 jobs, bring 130,000 visitors, and 100 million dollars to the state.

Governor Fletcher says adventure tourism would do all that and more.

Adventure tourism can turn eastern Kentucky into an international tourist spot according to Governor Fletcher.

He and others believe if people know what's here, they will want to visit and spend money.

“Eastern Kentucky is a gem waiting to be discovered,” Governor Fletcher said.

Tourism directors say the waiting is over, Eastern Kentucky's outdoors are discovered.

“We've set on this gold mine for years, and didn't know what we had,” Preston McClain said.

Preston McClain knows the tourism potential first hand. He's seen the number of visitors to Harlan county ATV trails jump in the last three years.

The climbing numbers is what state tourism directors want to capitalize on.

An Appalachian Regional Study says Eastern Kentucky's trails, mountains, and waterways can attract more than a thousand tourists to 18 counties.

McClain says visitors spend 202 dollars a day in Harlan County.

The ARC study estimates more tourism will bring in at least one million dollars.

The more tourists, means more jobs for locals.

The governor presented a $323,000 ARC grant is getting the project started.

Part of the governor's plan is to expand state parks like Jenny Wiley.

Gubernatorial candidate Democrat Steve Beshear's campaign manager says he also supports adventure tourism and his own plan if he's elected.

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