Chamber News

Apr 11, 2015

Leadership Floyd County focuses on Tourism


The Leadership Floyd County Academy class met March 24 at the Mountain Arts Center for its fifth professional development session, this time focusing on tourism and economic development.
Fred James, Tourism Director for the Prestonsburg Convention & Visitors Bureau, welcomed the group. He provided the members with an overview of local tourism and emphasized how everyone should be welcoming to visitors in our area. James stressed how providing great hospitality can lead to return visits and more tourists. He told the group that we want to be known as a “friendly” tourist area.
Following James’ presentation, Denise Thomas, Big Sandy ADD Economic Development Associate, discussed how economic development and tourism relate. She explained how area tourism projects like the Dawkins Rails to Trails initiative and the Big Sandy Water Trail project can lead to many business opportunities. She continued to focus on how eastern Kentucky has many opportunities and can become a destination region well known for abundant adventure tourism activities.
The group concluded the morning session with a presentation by Marty Childers, Executive Director of Jenny Wiley Theatre. Childers highlighted some popular past productions and told the group what was scheduled for 2015. He explained how the amphitheater has provided professional staging of classic Broadway musicals for more than 50 years and with the recent expansion of the Mainstage Theatre in Pikeville, JWT now has performances year round. He added that we are very fortunate to have such a high quality professional theatre in our area and hopes everyone plans to attend a show.
After lunch, Trinity Shepherd, Jenny Wiley State Resort Park Interpreter, spoke about activities and events at Jenny Wiley State Park. He described the elk tours, camp site activities and the many park trails. Shepherd added that JWSPR will host a 361 Adventure Race in August. The design of the 361
Adventure Race will involve some form of mountain biking, trekking/running and paddling. He indicated that this race will attract participants from all over the United States.

To conclude the day, Keith Caudill, Mountain Arts Center Director, gave the group a backstage tour and highlighted some of the upcoming shows. The group toured the music rooms, recording studio, stage and dressing rooms. As the group toured the facility Caudill elaborated on some of the interworkings of the music industry.
The 2014-15 Floyd County Leadership class consists of Danya Anderson, McDowell ARH; Kelli Ayers, Big Sandy Community & Technical College; Crystal Coleman, Skeans Marathon; Joe Campbell, Big Sandy Community & Technical College; Emmitt Hamilton; Danita Reynolds, US Bank; Whitney Layne, First Commonwealth Bank; Stephanie Stratton, Citizens National Bank; and Heath Wiley, Gearheart Communications.
The next Leadership Floyd County session will focus on education. For additional information on the Leadership program, please contact the Floyd County Chamber of Commerce at 606-886-0364.