Will Kentucky get a destination resort in Red River Gorge? New tourism strategy released

A new tourism strategy for Red River Gorge calls for a 4 1/2-star destination resort to boost economic growth in the eastern Kentucky region.

The Kentucky Chamber worked with local business leaders and planning consultants to produce a plan that includes developing eco-tourism in Lee, Menifee, Powell and Wolfe counties.

Red River Gorge Economic Development’s (RRED) regional tourism proposal is anchored by a high-end destination resort with 170 rooms, a full-service spa and restaurant, conference facilities, outdoor event and activity spaces and more. No site has been selected for the resort. Similar high-end facilities in nearby states including Blackberry Farm in Tennessee and Big Cedar Lodge in Missouri served as inspiration points for best practices.

The proposal includes tourism strategy, regional marketing and branding, existing conditions of infrastructure and environmental factors, potential funding sources, and a master plan for the destination resort. See it at http://www.redriverky.com/regionaltourismstrategy.

Kentucky’s Red River Gorge is known for its bio-diversity, natural beauty and expansive outdoor recreational opportunities. Located in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, Red River Gorge spans several counties east of Lexington in central Kentucky. Modernized infrastructure for the transportation network, utilities and broadband service to the region would likely be needed to facilitate growth.

— Rachel Nix

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