Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

January 14, 2014

Raceland seeks to revive local business

Lana Bellamy
The Independent

RACELAND — In a bid to promote tourism, the Revive Raceland Business Association will have a meeting to discuss several ongoing recreational projects Thursday.

The meeting will be at the community center in Raceland at 6:30 p.m., and is open for anyone interested in putting life back into the local business sector or would like to volunteer to assist in maintaining regional projects.

Raceland Police Chief Don Sammons has been working closely with the association to establish several bike routes throughout Greenup and Boyd counties, but new projects on the agenda include seeking Trail Town status for Raceland, collecting agreements for the new craft center, establishing a local authors bookstore and recruiting volunteers to help run a visitors center.

To supplement development of the bike routes, Sammons also mentioned adding bicycle-related businesses to the area, including outfitters carrying athletic clothing and supplies, along with lodging and restaurant facilities to accommodate traveling cyclists.

To jointly promote Greenbo Lake State Resort Park, he also said he wants to add a mountain bike route that travels through the park.

Volunteers for the association have already laid down an estimated 2,500 miles of bicycle routes; Sammons has no plans of stopping just yet.

“We’re shooting to have the largest system in the country,” he said.

By handing out brochures to bike clubs, like Ashland Cycling Enthusiasts, and those in Lexington and Columbus, Ohio, Sammons hopes to attract large groups of bikers to the area for extended weekend trips.

“What we’re trying to do is build a good, solid tourism-based industry here,” he said. “Make this a place where if you’re a (regular) cyclist, a mountain biker, road biker or just wanting to try it out, that this is where you can go.”

Seeking Trail Town status for Raceland will be the other hot-ticket item at the meeting, where Sammons said they will review the outline provided by the state and develop a plan of action.

He said they will also be discussing ways to help promote private business, such as bed and breakfast stops, and encourages anyone with ideas to attend the meeting and share with the association.

“If we get a lot of people on board, hopefully the Small Business Administration and FIVCO can come in to help us see what we can do for them,” Sammons said.

LANA BELLAMY can be reached at lbellamy@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2653.