TIMES TRIBUNE (CORBIN, Ky.)
By Charlotte Underwood / Staff Writer
The London-Laurel County Tourism Commission discussed upcoming as well as past events during its monthly meeting on Tuesday.
Tourism Co-director Rodney Hendrickson handed board members information that showed the economic impact of the PNC Bank Junior Golf Championship, which took place Aug. 5-8, at Crooked Creek Golf Club.
“Everything went very well and as you can see, the event had a good economic impact on our area,” Hendrickson said. According to an economic impact study done by the American Junior Golf Association, the total monetary impact of the event netted the community around $194,614. Economic impact is measured by the amount of hotel rooms rented, as well as food, rental cars and money spent on course fees and other things. Hotel rooms alone accounted for over $26,000 spent in Laurel County, while food weighed in at over $47,000.
“It was great for the community. I was really impressed by the professionalism of the organization and they said they definitely want to come back to London,” Hendrickson said.
Hendrickson also spoke to board members about the possibility of a Fishers of Men fishing tournament that the tourism commission is trying to “recruit” to come to Laurel Lake in October 2014.
“Part of what we needed to do to get that tournament to our area was to come up with a $5,000 hosting fee,” Hendrickson said, explaining he had applied to the Kentucky Sports Authority to see if they would cover at least half of that cost in the form of a grant.
“They approved the entire $5,000 amount, which puts us one step closer to getting that event here,” Hendrickson said. Tournament organizers for the event still have to get permits for the event through the U.S. Forest Service.
Another event that may be on the horizon for Laurel County is a statewide BBQ tournament, according to Hendrickson, who said he was approached by a group out of Harrogate, Tenn. about hosting the BBQ cook-off next March.
“It would be a one-day event, but according to the numbers the group provided me with, it will draw around 8,000 people which would be amazing,” Hendrickson said, adding that if it only drew half that, it would still be a good thing for the community.
Hendrickson said he took the group to the fair grounds and the Optimist Club to be looked at as possible locations for the event.
“They were thrilled with the Optimist Club and said it would be perfect,” Hendrickson said. The board made a motion for him to continue to follow up with the group in order to bring the event to the area.
Tourism Commission Co-director Kim Collier gave her update to the board regarding the upcoming Chicken Festival, which will be Sept. 26-29.
“We are going to have lots of good entertainment and rides. There will be a zip line this year and the skillet will be frying up lots of good chicken, and everyone should come out and enjoy it,” Collier said.
In other business, Hendrickson announced that the tourism commission’s slogan contest was going well with over 100 entries made so far.
“We are getting a lot of good responses from that,” Hendrickson said.