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London has become a popular drawing for tourism, even bringing in people from large tourist towns.

That was the report by Kelly Burton, co-executive director of the London-Laurel County Tourist Commission during Tuesday’s monthly meeting.

Burton displayed part of the report complied through the program that shows the flow of tourism through the area. That program pinpoints the number of visitors who stay only a few hours, overnight or more than an overnight stay. That helps tourism officials pinpoint the various interests and drawings for both economic impact as well as development of events.

Burton introduced the program to county tourism officials several months ago and Tuesday’s presentation was proof of its effectiveness.

Promoting the area had another opportunity as well. Mike Huff with Bassmaster Elite Series asked for sponsorship for his travels across the country for fishing tournaments. Huff and his father are avid fisherman and travel to tournaments in Michigan and other states. Huff asked for sponsorship through a “wrap” for his vehicle and trailer with the tourism commission’s logo. Huff said Forcht Bank sponsored him last year and the wrap gave advertisement to the area.

The $5,000 sponsorship, he said, would draw attention to the London/Laurel area and promote the various attractions here. Burton questioned how detailed the wraps would be, with Huff responding that the designer could reproduce any picture or image. The county tourism logo would also be added to Huff’s shirts worn during his tournament tour.

County tourism officials also discussed repairs to the decks of the Heritage Hills banquet hall. Supports and railings to the lower deck that extends over the pond as well as the front and rear decks to the upper level of the building were bid out with three bids received.

Board chairman Jamie Harrison recommended that Southeast Kentucky Fence and Deck be awarded the bid, which was the lowest of the three. Other bids came from OBH and Commonwealth Construction and were highly twice as high as the low bid. The cost to repair the three decks included separate pricing on each. The lower deck repair was listed at $1,800, the upper deck in the back of the banquet hall is listed as $1,800 and the front deck of the upper level can be replaced for $1,400. Commissioners voted unanimously for that bid.

City tourism director Chris Robinson updated county tourism officials on the Chandler Thinks branding session set for Feb. 15. Robinson said the time has not yet been set but that he would send notices when confirmed. He also said plans to expand/improve the amphitheater at Levi Jackson Park were underway, although no design has been determined.

“We’re still some way from that,” he said. “It’s a small area, smaller than it looks, but we do need something so that area can be better used.”

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