county without taxation
Strategic Plan to help
guide county into the future
(April 2009) Weve all heard it before:
Theres not enough business tax base to pay for our countys
needs, so we have to raise your taxes.
What would you think of an Oldham County agency committed to helping
Oldham County grow without raising your taxes? The new face of Oldham
County Tourism is on target with an active director, an energetic board,
and a new groundbreaking Strategic Plan. The Strategic Plan will work
hand-in-hand with the Oldham County Chamber, Oldham County Economic
Development, and Oldham County government to bring new revenues to Oldham
County, but with a twist: Tourism provides these services without raising
your taxes, since they are funded solely by guests who stay at our local
The first goal in the new Strategic Plan is to create an External
Destination Identity. Who comes to Oldham County? What did they
do? Why did they choose us? Where did they visit and stay while they
Our second goal, a Hotel Cooperation Program, will gather survey information
from hotel guests.
The most important piece of information to come from these surveys
will be where the guests traveled from and for what reason. This will
allow us to pinpoint our target market, said Tourism Chairman
Our third goal is to create an infrastructure for Oldham County attractions
to flourish through travel packages for tourists. These packages will
include dining, attractions, shopping and complimentary activities,
such as taking in a show at the Oldham County Schools Arts Center or
Little Colonel Playhouse after visiting Main Street La Grange.
During this recession, travelers still plan to take vacations but for
shorter periods of time. I have learned that travelers typically look
for weekend getaways and day trips that last two or three days without
driving more than three hours to get there. We have just the ticket
for travelers in Oldham County.
In an effort to meet and interview those travelers around the
region and create buzz about Oldham County, your tourism director attends
the major travel shows and have just returned from the Indianapolis
and Cincinnati Shows, Best said. Kim gathers incredible
information you do not get from surveys.
The assumption in our county has always been that we naturally attract
travelers from Cincinnati because we are on I-71. That is not the case.
It was interesting to learn from the Cincinnati Show that residents
are more naturally accustomed to get off I-71 onto I-75 and head to
Lexington, unless they happened to be driving to Louisville. We learned
that although most attendees I spoke with were familiar with La Grange,
we needed to create a need for them to stay on I-71 and come to Oldham
County specifically. That reason will be our Travel Packages. As research
shows, travelers are looking for quick getaways that allow them a change
of pace before heading back to the daily grind.
A critical part of our Strategic Plan is developing future tourist destinations
in Oldham County as well. Starting in spring 2008, tourism has been
on a mission to find those hidden gems in the county that
can be promoted as attractions. Last year, we discovered a fellow resident
who had written a book about life on her farm. It is a childrens
book written through the eyes of her horses. Additionally, an alpaca
farm owner has shown interest in becoming open to the public for tours.
As part of our Strategic Plan implementation, I am developing potential
Agri-Tourism businesses in Oldham County in collaboration with Kentucky
State Tourisms new Agri-Tourism Division in Frankfort.
In another effort to carry out the Strategic Plan, I met in March with
Team Kentucky from the state tourism office. Team Kentucky
visits cities and counties in the state to take inventories of its lakes,
sports fields, golf courses, and indoor sports facilities to evaluate
the possibility of promoting and attracting local sports tournaments
to that area.
Kim will be working in collaboration with local coaches and Oldham
County Parks and Recreation for their feedback on this initiative,
Can Tourism really help Oldham County grow? Best says: True to
our mission, Oldham County Tourism is committed to pursuing new revenue
growth for Oldham County businesses by actively marketing what we have
to offer. In creating an identity for Oldham County, we will help make
our existing businesses healthier and will help recruit new businesses
to service our tourists. This will, in turn, feed Oldham County businesses
additional revenue they desperately need without raising
Kim Buckler serves as Oldham County Tourism
Director. Call her at (502) 222-0056 or via email at: Director@TourOldhamCounty.com.
For upcoming events, visit the website: www.TourOldhamCounty.com.
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