Tourists bringing more money to Boyle County
Boyle County saw sizable increases in tourism dollars spent compared to the previous year, according to a study released by the Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet.
Direct tourism expenditures went from $41.85 million in 2010 to $45.62 million in 2011, a jump of about 9 percent. Indirect expenditures went from $65.8 million to $71.7 million over the same period.
The county enjoyed one of the largest increases in the bluegrass region, one of nine regions statewide, which also includes Garrard, Lincoln and Mercer counties.
Gil Lawson, spokesman for the cabinet, said the direct expenditures measured by the economic impact study include obvious travel purchases such as hotels, meals and fuel. The indirect expenditures are based on calculations of how direct expenditures on things like food can impact other areas such as agriculture.
The company CERTEC, which conducted the study, handed out questionnaires at businesses related to tourism to compile the information.
Jennifer Kirchner, executive director of the Danville-Boyle County Convention and Visitors Bureau, who was hired in March to replace former director Adam Johnson, said she hasn’t had the opportunity to study all of the information in the report. However, she is pleased with the momentum the county is carrying into a year when thousands of visitors are expected for the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Perryville and the vice-presidential debate at Centre College.
“What emerges to me is the outstanding job the Chamber of Commerce, Heart of Danville and (CVB) have done in bringing interest to the county,” Kirchner said. “It reflects how those and other groups in the community have upped their game to help grow the economy overall.”
Jody Lassiter, president and chief executive officer of the Danville-Boyle County Economic Development Partnership, said the figures bode well heading into a season when so many large events, including the Great American Brass Band Festival and Kentucky State BBQ Festival, bring crowds to the area. He also emphasized the importance of business travel for boosting the amount spent in the community.
“(Through) the EDP partners’ efforts, we have given travelers more opportunities to stay and spend in Danville with more restaurants, shops and venues,” Lassiter said in an email. “I must give credit to expanded alcohol sales for opening these doors for new traveler destinations.”
Kirchner is currently putting together her first budget and along with the group’s board of directors is still considering the new memorandum of agreement between the EDP and its partners. One of the areas in the budget Kirchner would like to see bolstered is marketing. She is looking at ways to free up more money to further spread the word about the county’s attractions, particularly in the midwest, where she said research has shown a large market for the types of attractions the area has to offer.
For the CVB, upping resources for any budget item means drawing large numbers of guests for multiple days because the group is funded by the transient room tax charged on stays in local hotels lasting up to 30 days.
Of all the metrics used to judge both the organization’s success and the likelihood of a tourist’s dollars having broad economic impact, perhaps the most important is “heads in beds.”
Since 2005-2006, the yearly total for room tax collections has fluctuated between about $150,000 and $164,000, with the largest amount collected in a single year being $163,917 in 2007-2008. During fiscal year 2011-2012, which began in July, monthly room tax revenue has exceeded the previous year’s income during the same time period every month except for December and January.
Kirchner wants to focus on increasing the number of beds where travelers can rest their heads.
In addition to placing a new emphasis on Herrington Lake as an asset for attracting overnight tourists, she wants to work on a boutique-style hotel with a first-floor restaurant downtown and another hotel for South Danville Bypass.
Kirchner hopes the community can develop more events and package local arts and entertainment attractions with dining and overnight lodging to attract people for longer stays.
“That is not to say that day trips, even during the week, are not a valuable part of tourism,” Kirchner said.
“But if we can make a day attraction like the Community Arts Center an element of a weekend visit, that will maximize the impact on the economy.”
SO YOU KNOW
- Garrard County direct expenditures were $2.6 million in 2010 and $2.67 million in 2011. Indirect expenditures were $4.1 million in 2010 and $4.2 million in 2011.
- Lincoln County direct expenditures were $6 million in 2010 and $6.14 in 2011. Indirect expenditures were $9.48 million in 2010 and $9.66 in 2011.
- Mercer County direct expenditures were $24.9 million in 2010 and $25.6 million in 2011. Indirect expenditures were $39.79 million in 2010 and $40.29 million in 2011.
for more info on Danville, KY – voted once again, one of the most beautiful towns in America, click here for real estate for sale. We love living here in the middle of the Horse Country. Danville, KY is the best retirement location to be. For more info on land, horse farms, properties, Centre College, Danville’s night life, etc - listings and Videos on Danville, KY Homes for Sale, Kentucky Farm Land, and Kentucky Horse Farms or to search the MLS, visit BluegrassTeam.com