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Louisa plans to become Trail Town....special meeting held, application process begins

Pic--L to R:  Jordan Gibson, Jill York, Steve Lycan, Susie Chambers, Debbie Hill, Wes Kingsmore, Kelly Ward, John Osborne, Cathi Wells, Harold Slone, Catrina Vargo, Josh Ball, Lara Pack, Keith Chaffin, Brenda Hardwick, Catherine Castle, Jamie Smith, John Smith.Pic--L to R: Jordan Gibson, Jill York, Steve Lycan, Susie Chambers, Debbie Hill, Wes Kingsmore, Kelly Ward, John Osborne, Cathi Wells, Harold Slone, Catrina Vargo, Josh Ball, Lara Pack, Keith Chaffin, Brenda Hardwick, Catherine Castle, Jamie Smith, John Smith.

The Lawrence County Tourism Commission held a special meeting Monday, July 10, at the Lawrence County Courthouse, to announce plans to apply for state certification to make Louisa a 'trail town'.

Over 30 people were in attendance, including State Representative, Jill York, Southeast KY Chamber of Commerce President, Jordan Gibson, FIVCO Economic Development Director, Kelly Ward, Assistant SOAR Director, Josh Ball, Paintsville Trail Town Coordinator, Lara Pack, Mayor, Harold Slone, County Judge Executive, John Osborne, and the Lawrence County Tourism Commission, along with several business and community leaders.

With the recent passing of House Bill 156 which created the KY Mountain Regional Recreation Authority, the rapid increase of tourism in eastern KY, and the success of other trail towns, the idea to try to make Louisa a trail town was something that the Lawrence County Tourism Commission, the Lawrence County Economic Development Dept., and the City of Louisa felt would benefit the area by advancing local and regional tourism, boosting the local economy, and greatly increasing small businesses opportunities.

The Kentucky Trail Town program is a tourism development program administered through the state Tourism, Arts, & Heritage Cabinet. The main goal of the program is to positively impact the economic and physical health of Kentucky communities through increased access to outdoor recreation, and to connect to nearby recreational resources, and complete community assessments to ensure they are tourism destinations. The train town program also involves all facets of a community as it works on improving tourism infrastructure, highlighting local products, and sharing its unique cultural identity.

Cathi Wells, Treasurer of the Lawrence County Tourism Commission, will be serving as the catalyst for this project, and will be the primary contact person for Louisa's trail town application. This undertaking includes a 115 page comprehensive workbook, requiring the formation of several committees, and a series of assessments. The city of Paintsville has applied and is about two years into the process. They have graciously offered to help Lawrence County in this endeavor. Lawrence County's primary trail is the Levisa Fork River.

Tourism is the 3rd largest industry in the state, with $887 billion spent in KY last year on outdoor recreation. Tourism revenue in Lawrence County increased by $338,787, in just one year, bringing the total to $15,215,532 in 2016. The city and county are working together, along with Johnson and other counties to expand tourism opportunities in Lawrence County and Louisa, as well as the entire region of eastern Kentucky.

 

Comments  

+1 #4 Danielle AdkinsAdkin 2017-07-20 21:39
Louisa IS NOT my hometown, but I've lived here for 18 yrs, this Labor Day, and we have LESS businesses than when I came, which wasn't much to begin with. I love small tourist towns, and I really hope Louisa, becomes like one of the towns, I was raised around in NY & MI. Our children deserve this too. Louisa needs a future.
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+2 #3 CWells 2017-07-18 20:03
Quoting Terry:
Oh boy here we go again!! Trying to turn Louisa into something I hope doesn't happen!!! My home has always been a small hometown!! Why are people trying to change it?!

Louisa is also my hometown and it was a busy small town when I was growing up. The buildings were full of businesses and there were "places to go, things to do and people to see". Our downtown has been declining for many years. Our economy has been declining and that is not good for ANY town no matter how small....You are more than welcome to join one of the committees so that you can better understand this process and help bring our community back!
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+3 #2 BigBertha 2017-07-18 14:59
Quoting Terry:
Oh boy here we go again!! Trying to turn Louisa into something I hope doesn't happen!!! My home has always been a small hometown!! Why are people trying to change it?!


Because our children deserve better than what this pathetic town currently offers.
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-10 #1 Terry 2017-07-18 11:15
Oh boy here we go again!! Trying to turn Louisa into something I hope doesn't happen!!! My home has always been a small hometown!! Why are people trying to change it?!
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