By Rob McDaniel
LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — “Crossroads to Adventure.”
“Where Good Times Begin.”
“Come Play, Come Stay.”
These phrases could be chosen as the London-Laurel County Tourist Commission’s next slogan to entice visitors to London and Laurel County.
Since they opened their slogan contest, the tourist commission has received 132 entries. The list of entries thus far was revealed in the commission’s regular meeting Tuesday.
“We’ve had good participation,” said Kim Collier, co-executive director. “The winning slogan will be on our revised website and our new brochures.”
The tourist commission is still currently accepting entries. No winner has been chosen at this date.
In other matters:
• Deanna Herrmann, executive director of the Chamber of Commerce, informed commission members of an upcoming job fair that will take place on Oct. 30 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the London Community Center. The job fair will feature employers from several local businesses and in some cases will offer on the spot interviews. Attendees are asked to bring a copy of their resume and two forms of identification.
“General Dynamics, Cheddars and Serco will be just a few of the companies that will be there,” said Magistrate Ray Crawford.
• Chairman Tom Handy is waiting on a response from state officials on suggestions that will determine what qualifications hotel/motel association members must meet in order to serve on the city’s tourist commission.
Board member Ed Parsley stated, “We don’t want to ever forget that London and Laurel County are in the same place. But some people have forgotten that.”
“All the best things that have happened in Laurel County are a direct result of cooperation between the city and county,” Handy said. “We will continue to work to maintain the relationship of cooperation that has made this county stand out in tourism.”
• Rodney Hendrickson, tourist commission co-director, updated commission members on the Thriller Ride that took place in Laurel County on Saturday.
“We had a really good turn out for our Thriller Ride,” Hendrickson said. “We had 135 people, which is less than we expected and a little less than last year, but we had a lot of competition going on this weekend. There was a ride in Scott County and participants were given $60 jerseys. That’s hard to compete with, but I’m happy with the event.”
From April to October, Laurel County hosted 12 major tourism related events, Hendrickson said. Ten of those events have already made requests to come back to Laurel County next year.
“The H.O.G. Rally and the Women’s Junior Amateur Golf Tournament won’t be coming back next year, because those events rotate location from year to year,” Hendrickson said. “The H.O.G. Rally will be back in 2015 and the Women’s Junior Amateur Golf Tournament has expressed interest in coming back in the future.”
Hendrickson noted they have four new events coming to Laurel County in 2014, including a BBQ competition, Tour De London, an Endurance Obstacle Challenge and a fishing competition.
• Hendrickson also reported the World Chicken Festival ran smoothly this year, with more than 3.5 tons — or 7,096 pounds — of fried chicken sold.
“There were 120 booths that signed up. All in all, while the World Chicken Festival attracts people from all over, it affects people from London and Laurel County... I think our community was paid a great tribute by Sen. (Mitch) McConnell, who flew to London by private plane to be in the festival, and then fly back to Washington. I think we should all take pride in the fact that our Senate Minority Leader came here to be a part of the festival,” Handy said.
Moving the rides to the judicial building parking lot this year relieved congestion along the streets, Handy continued, and all food booths on Main Street benefitted local non-profit organizations.
“The major plus is that it really helps the local people,” he said.
• Construction on an elevator located in Heritage Hills Banquet Hall is near completion and will be available for use starting in December.
The banquet hall has taken in $5,000 in rentals for the months of July, August and September.
CNHI writer Jeff Noble contributed to this story.