PRESTONSBURG – Prestonsburg Tourism met at the Mountain Arts Center for its regular monthly meeting on Wednesday. Director Mitchell Pearson gave a brief account of how Prestonsburg Tourism is using resources to market the area and bring more tourists to Prestonsburg.
Board member Cliff Latta inquired if Pearson had reached out to anyone around Elkhorn City as he thought both areas offered visitors basically the same activities. Pearson ensured Latta he had been in touch with officials from the Breaks Interstate Park.
Prestonsburg is currently being featured on the Kentucky Waterways and Adventure Trails website at www.adventure-ky.com. Over one million visitors discover Kentucky’s natural beauty each year.
Prestonsburg Tourism is also advertising in Kentucky Monthly, a magazine that distributes over 300,000 copies per year, as well as Kentucky Living, which is free to all Kentucky RECC members.
Pearson and Prestonsburg Tourism Assistant Director Brooke Lemons attended the Lexington RV and Boat Show last week and said people were talking about Paddlefest and are planning on attending this year. This year, Paddlefest will run May-September. Members of the Prestonsburg Tourism Board are brainstorming for different activities and entertainment to pair with Paddlefest this year. The board hopes to bring live entertainment up to the town level as it looks to incorporate local businesses.
Mayor Les Stapleton added that he and Pearson are currently in discussions with officials from the Kentucky Waterman Series, which is project of the Explore Kentucky Initiative, created to invigorate Kentucky’s paddle sports racing community. The website – www.explorekentucky.us/kentuckywatermanseries already lists the Levisa Fork River Streak race with details coming soon. The Kentucky Waterman series is expected to drive tourism business in Prestonsburg, making it an active town for the outdoor adventure tourist.
Stapleton also mentioned he had been working with Cliff Latta and although an official reward has not been granted, he is confident they had secured funds to do some needed work to the trails in Prestonsburg.
As the meeting came to a close, Pearson suggested the board look in to purchasing a vehicle to be used on official tourism business.
“Brooke and myself do a lot of running around to different places, using our personal vehicles,” Pearson said. “With the amount of travel we do going to various shows, it makes sense to purchase a car to be used for official tourism business. We travel to Campton on February 25, Frankfort on February 28, Pigeon Forge, Tennessee on March 3-5 and to Morehead on March 15-16. This is a ton of miles on personal vehicles.”
Stapleton explained the procedure that must be followed if a vehicle is purchased by Prestonsburg Tourism and ultimately approval must come from the Prestonsburg City Commission. He suggested Pearson begin looking for a vehicle that will meet their needs.
The next Prestonsburg Tourism meeting is scheduled for March 14 at 12 noon at the Mountain Arts Center. Meetings are open to the public and everyone is invited to attend.
Andrea Saddler is a reporter for The Floyd County Times. She can be reached at (606) 886-8506.