Kentucky’s Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet fired off a press release today touting the state’s tourism accounting for an economic impact in 2011 of nearly $11.7 billion, plus the “There’s Only One” campaign, which touts Kentucky’s “unique attractions.”
“The state’s ‘There’s Only One’ tourism promotion campaign points out the unique tourism attractions we have in Kentucky, which is part of the reason our tourism industry continues to grow,” said Sparrow, who made the announcement in Louisville. “Tourism supports jobs for Kentuckians and businesses of all kinds across the state.”
Madeline Abramson, wife of Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson, took part in a ceremony with Sparrow and Acting Travel Commissioner Hank Phillips at the Belle of Louisville and presented them with a proclamation from the governor in honor of Travel and Tourism Week.
“We think our campaign and the hard work of the tourism industry will continue to help us grow through 2012,” said Phillips, whose agency oversees Kentucky’s travel marketing. “Kentucky is a great place to visit, and we look forward to getting that message out.”
The release went on to list 13 new additions to the state’s 31 “There’s Only One” tourism spots. And I guess it’s fitting that Ken Ham’s Creation Museum has been added to the list, because there is only one place in America that kids can ride a saddled dinosaur and learn that fire-breathing dragons were real: Kentucky!
Meanwhile, the next “There’s Only One” tourist hotspot in Kentucky — our giant boat with dinosaurs on it in Grant County — continues to be mired and delayed in fundraising problems. Since Ark Encounter inched above $5 million three months ago — far short of their $24 million goal, and before they announced that their park’s plans would have to be scaled back — they’ve only managed to raise just over $300,000.
But never fear, as our state government has already allocated $2 million in the current budget (and $9 million soon to come) to build a wide-laned road and utility lines out to Ken Ham’s vacant farm land, not to mention all of the additional giveaways from the local government. Once the Ark project flops, the land that Answers in Genesis owns will be much more valuable, and we’re sure that they’ll be able to sell it for quite a bit more than what they bought (and were given) it for. Say what you want about Ken Ham, but he’s a damned good businessman.
And there’s “There’s Only One” place he could have gotten away with it: Kentucky!