Coordinate with surrounding counties to capitalize on the inherent tourism draws of the Bluegrass Region.
Lexington is not alone in reaping the natural and historical benefits of the Bluegrass Region, as the surrounding counties all have similar assets, as well unique cultural and historic draws that make the region an attractive tourist destination. Some of the attractions cross county boundaries, such as the bluegrass landscape, horse farm tours, the Bourbon Trail, and the Brewgrass trail; while others are locally specific, such as Shaker Village in Mercer County or the Kentucky Castle in Woodford County. Together, they all create a regional experience that is unlike any other; in order for them to be most effective, they must be marketed together as such.
Visit Lex already incorporates regional showpieces into their marketing materials, including their pre-planned itineraries and “top 10 things to do” list. It could be mutually beneficial for all involved for Lexington to continue conversations with the goal of increasing tourist traffic for Fayette and outlying counties. Those counties would receive visitors who may be coming due to the larger draw of the urban amenities Lexington has to offer, and Lexington would likely benefit, as those who are traveling for attractions in outlying counties will probably stay and spend a good portion of their tourism money in the city. Additionally, the added visibility and attractiveness of the region creates enhanced livability and amenities for employers in all counties.
Land development, primarily in Lexington’s job-creating industries. Opportunities for industrial and professional office growth are present, and, as land constraints continue to tighten, the city should look creatively to these areas for employment solutions. These should be pursued, but with constant consideration given to the integrity of the rural service area.