In Nov. 1 IssueRussell County News
Visitation to Lake Cumberland increased for the 2007-2008 fiscal year with over 3.9 million visitors, according to figures released by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Although the increase of more than 7,200 people was a small percentage improvement, it is important to note that this is the first increase since 2003 and came in a season of rising fuel costs and an unsteady economy.
An informal license plate survey indicated that most visitors were from Kentucky with guests from Ohio, Indiana, Michigan and Illinois following close behind. Gas prices may have contributed to the increase in Kentucky visitors and also a slight increase in visitors from Tennessee.
Visitation to Lake Cumberland fell significantly in 2006-2007 as a result of lowering the lake elevation while critical repairs are being made to Wolf Creek Dam. That encouraged Lake Cumberland marinas, tourist commissions, tourism agencies and local governments to work together to launch a website and develop a targeted marketing campaign in late spring - early summer of 2008.
"We believe these figures show that our efforts to promote Lake Cumberland through the media and other marketing efforts paid off during 2008," said Tourism, Arts and Heritage Secretary Marcheta Sparrow. "Lake Cumberland will continue to be a great place to visit and we'll continue working to promote it as a tourist destination."
The campaign closely followed an increased marketing effort in late winter - early spring of 2008 by the Kentucky Department of Travel and TOUR Southern and Eastern Kentucky. These campaigns combined with positive word-of-mouth comments made by 2006-2007 visitors helped increase visitation.
In early 2007 Kentucky State Government pooled the resources of several cabinets and departments to work with the Army Corps of Engineers to ensure there would be access to Lake Cumberland as the elevation changed. As a result there are now 52 ramps located around the lake providing access to Lake Cumberland.