Groups Meet To Discuss ATV Tourist Attraction

By: Jeff Allen Email
By: Jeff Allen Email

Several groups are meeting in Harlan to talk about how they can capitalize on something we're seeing more and more.

ATV's are drawing tourists and the money they bring with them to eastern Kentucky.

Some are saying the push for ATV and adventure tourism also comes at a cost.

ATV riders are coming into eastern Kentucky from all over, but many say locally we're not
getting back what we could.

“They come in here use our roads and the county's not getting a return,” Preston McLain said.

Several Harlan County groups are coming together to discuss how the county can capitalize on the ATV boom.

Others aren't so enthusiastic about ATVs.

“That park has been a burden to my family since they began it,” Mike Brewer said.

Mike Brewer says at least 2 times someone's rammed into a family car with an ATV.

“A man was trying to catch up with his group and slammed right into the side of her enough to total it,” Brewer said.

“You'll always have the one percent that will try to ruin this for the rest of the people that come in or live here,” McLain said.

ATV groups are discussing a countywide tourism tax and even pushing alcohol sales to accommodate visitors.

“Harlan County needs the money, but it needs to be safe and fair to the people that live here at the same time,” Brewer said.

Local police say they're closely monitoring ATV riders in an effort to keep things safe.


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