Tracy Pratt-Savage 02_08_17 Carlisle Mercury
Forty representatives turned out for the 2nd Annual Licking Valley Adventures dinner at the Neal Welcome Center last week, up from 22 last year.
Licking Valley Adventures is a (9) county group co-founded by Nicholas and Bourbon Counties to jointly promote Adventure Tourism and Economic Development to provide a healthy lifestyle and economy for the area.
Tourism has a $13.7 billion impact on Kentucky. It is the third largest revenue generator for the state behind automotive and healthcare. It provides 186,204 jobs paying $3.1 billion in wagers and generating $1.43 billion in tax revenue for the state.
The group enjoyed a great meal and got an update from co-Founder Tracy Pratt-Savage about all the group accomplished in 2016 and plans for the year ahead.
Besides establishing a website and Facebook presence, the Small Town Fall Color Tour in October 2016 included Paris’ Peddle and Paddle Event. Carlisle also offered a bike ride around Lake Carnico – both led by Mike Galbraith, Licking Valley Adventures member and Urban/Transportation planner and avid cyclist. Other communities participated with Fall festivals, farmers markets, downtown historic tours, the Covered Bridge Tour in Fleming County and more.
Galbraith will be leading the Long Term Planning committee in 2017 that will be working with all (9) counties to put together a Master Bike/Pedestrian Plan. The Water Committee will be working on identifying, promoting, and looking for additional river access points for canoeing and kayaking the Licking and Ohio Rivers, and Stoner and Hinkston Creek. The Events Committee is already working on Spring bike, hike, paddle, and other events we can promote. And efforts are underway to promote Economic Development in the Licking Valley area with listings of available land and buildings on StateBook.com.
The group will be pursuing grant funding for bike/ped paths, additional sidewalks, help with planning and development of nature trails on a county by county basis as well as on a group basis. Blue Grass Area Development District is helping with grant writing, cycling transportation expertise and authored the LVA Website.
Nicholas County Economic Development Director Tracy Pratt-Savage was elected “Director” of Licking Valley Adventures to help the group move towards 501C3 status with assistance from Nicholas County Attorney Dawn Curran Letcher, forming a formal board of directors, and to solicit donations and other forms of funding to be able to hire a part-time administrator.
For more information, check the group out online at www.lickingvalleyadventures.org or like them on Facebook to keep abreast of upcoming events on Facebook @LVA Adventures. Licking Valley Adventures committee meets the third Wednesday of the month at the Carlisle-Nicholas County Economic Development offices at 11A, 2477 Concrete Road, Carlisle, KY 40311. The meeting is open to the public.