LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
Co-Director Rodney Hendrickson added about 96 percent of the cyclists at the Redbud Ride are from out of town and that it is “truly an event that brings tourism to Laurel County.” Hendrickson also reminded the commission of the $5,000 Healthy Communities grant that will be used to put up a kiosk for cyclists at the farmer’s market and signs on cycling trails throughout Laurel County.
“From the last weekend in March through October, almost every weekend, we have some type of tourism event, some weekends have two,” Hendrickson reported. “Grills Gone Wild — the barbecue festival is going to have lots of things other than barbecue out there. The organizer thinks we’ll have several thousand visitors, a healthy percentage will be day visitors, but they spend money too.”
Grills Gone Wild will be held at the London-Laurel Optimist Sports Complex off west Ky. 80 on March 28 and 29, and starts at 5 p.m. Friday evening. Most activities will be throughout the day on Saturday.
Hendrickson also reported that the Kentucky Sports Authority held their spring meeting in London a few weeks ago. He found out through the meeting that sports tourism in Kentucky is on the rise and mentioned Elizabethtown as an example.
He pointed out that a sports park was built in Elizabethtown using funds from the restaurant tax. The sports park has baseball, softball and soccer fields that are built for travel teams to come and use the fields for their tournaments.
Hendrickson said Elizabethtown has a tournament almost every weekend and that, after one full year of operation, the park has been four or five times more successful than they imagined.
“They said they never thought it would be so successful.”
Hendrickson asked the city tourism commission members present to consider the option for London and Laurel County once they start building revenue.
The city’s London Tourism and Convention Commission meets the third Monday of every month at City Hall. The next meeting will be held on April 21.
The county’s London Laurel County Tourist Commission meets the third Tuesday at Heritage Hills Banquet Hall. The next meeting will be held on April 22.