, Corbin, KY


July 16, 2014

London-Laurel Tourism discusses future events

LAUREL COUNTY — Bike rides, adventure races and banquet halls took up most of the discussion at the London-Laurel Tourist Commission meeting Tuesday.

“This time of the year is really busy for us,” said Commission Co-Director Kim Collier.

Collier began by giving the commission updates on the Heritage Hills Banquet Hall and Laurel County History Museum & Genealogy Center.

“The Heritage Hills landscaping is to start next week,” Collier said.

Business at the banquet hall is also picking up and floor tiles are being replaced as needed, according to Collier.

But from there the discussion led to a more serious turn of events.

“We learned someone unplugged the security alarm (at the museum and genealogy center),” Collier said.

Collier also reported that doors within the center had been taken off their hinges.

Collier said she and Commission Co-Director Rodney Hendrickson are trying to figure out what happened.

In the meantime the commission will work on rewriting lease agreements for use of the Laurel County History Museum & Genealogy Center.

Of particular concern to the commission was the current contract with Playground Theatre.

“Right now they are paying $150 per show, and they typically do four to six shows,” Collier said.

However, the commission pointed out that the theater takes weeks before shows for stage construction and rehearsals.

“We’ve not been able to promote use of the center because of that,” Collier said.

Collier believed that $150 was not enough compensation for the time that the theater spends at the center and said she will be looking into a different lease agreement for the theater.

Hendrickson later brought an update to the commission on the activities that have taken place and those events that are to come.

“We just completed the Laurel Lake Triathlon where there was 153 competitors and over 100 spectators,” Hendrickson said.

Hendrickson reported that people from about a dozen states traveled to Laurel County for the event. Triathlon directors are currently determining if they made a profit from the triathlon before deciding if they will hold another triathlon next year.

Coming next week to Laurel County will be the American Junior Golf Association Lipari Energy Junior Golf Championship.

“This is the highest level of junior golf in the world,” Hendrickson said.

Over 100 golfers from around the globe will participate in the event, according to Hendrickson.

“The man that won the last championship received a golf scholarship to Perdue. The woman that won got a scholarship to Auburn. They’re playing for high stakes,” Hendrickson said.

Hendrickson mentioned that nearly all current professional golfers played in this championship when they were younger.

July 26 will be the Sheltowee Extreme 12-hour race and Hendrickson says they are looking for two volunteers.

The race consists of running, mountain biking, swimming and paddling to see who can collect the most points in the least amount of time.

Looking ahead in the year, Hendrickson said Laurel County will host a Thriller Ride in October. This is not the first year the county had held the bike ride, but it will be the first year they do it in conjunction with two other bike rides.

Red River Gorge and Sadieville will hold bike rides the two weekends before the Thriller Ride, and Hendrickson hopes promoting the three rides together will boost attendance.

Hendrickson also said Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear is looking to include the Thriller Ride as a stop in the Kentucky Adventure Games.

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The soft whistle of a flute floated through the room as audience members listened in awe to tales of the Thunderbolt people. “This land that you’re now sitting on was that of Thunderbolt people,” said Thunderbolt descendant David Owens. Owens and Indian flute player Robert Mullinax stopped at the Laurel County Library Friday night to entertain with spoken legends, folk lore and tales of the bygone Thunderbolts. Audiences were captivated by stories passed down from the Thunderbolt of how things came to be. Tales about fire, pipes and Kentucky — just to name a few — were shared by Ownes over the course of an hour with Mullinax playing behind him.

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