Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

October 6, 2012

Debate business is good business

DANVILLE — Happy days are here – again!

Business is good in this small central Kentucky town, set among the rolling bluegrass and home to the prestigious private liberal arts college, Centre College, known for its historic 1921 6-0 victory over Harvard in football.

But on Thursday night, Centre and Danville will bask in the national spotlight. The college is hosting the vice presidential debate between Democratic incumbent Joe Biden and Republican challenger Paul Ryan.  On Saturday, just 14 miles away, close to 25,000 descended on the area for a re-enactment of the Civil War battle at Perryville.

“We’re a small town with big shoulders,” said Jody Lassiter, president and CEO of the Danville-Boyle County Economic Development Partnership.

When the Commission on Presidential Debate chose Centre for the 2012 vice presidential debate it didn’t surprise or frighten anyone here because Centre hosted the 2000 debate between Dick Cheney and Joe Lieberman.

“The local governments and local businesses embraced it,” Lassiter said when the news came. “I’ve never heard the first statement of anyone wondering can we get this done.”

A dozen years ago, the direct tourism impact alone of the 2012 debate was nearly $650,000 locally and more than $2.5 million for Kentucky, Lassiter said. That doesn’t include indirect impact or spending on infrastructure improvements.

So far this time, Centre has spent $550,000 and the city another $100,000 getting ready for Thursday’s debate, Lassiter said, so the impact will be far greater.

Lassiter said no one has tried to estimate in advance the economic impact of the 2012 debate, but he expects it to be greater even than the inflationary growth over the past decade.

“It’s a lot bigger event this time and we’re expecting even more people,” he said.

Business is good on Main Street, too.

Marty Sullivan, owner of Thoroughbred Threads located in downtown Danville, said business has been picking up for the past two weeks and he expects business to literally take off the week of the debate. His business is licensed to create and sell official debate t-shirts, sweatshirts, caps and other apparel and it supplies Centre’s demands.

Text Only
Local News
  • 07/31/2014 — What's Happening

    Local news

    July 31, 2014

  • News in brief, 07/31/14

    About 450 marijuana plants were confiscated during an eradication effort in Lawrence County on Tuesday.

    July 30, 2014

  • 0731facelift1.JPG Painters finishing up work at ACTC

    When Ashland Community and Technical College students return to campus Aug. 18, they will find fresh paint, clean windows and pressure-washed brickwork on the college’s original building on College Drive.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Night Moves on tap for First Friday

    A chance to enjoy an evening run through the streets of Ashland will be among the things to do during the First Friday ArtWalk and Downtown Live for August from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday.

    July 30, 2014

  • Fairview school district being investigated

    State education investigators were scheduled to arrive in the Fairview school district this morning to interview school officials.

    July 30, 2014

  • Advisory committee on landfill to meet

    Members of the county’s new advisory committee regarding Big Run Landfill enforcement are encouraged to attend the group’s first meeting next week.
    Committee facilitator Mike Clevenger of Cannonsburg said the panel will meet the first Monday of each month, starting next week. For now, all meetings will be at 6:30 p.m. at the Boyd County Community Center.

    July 30, 2014

  • Highway dedicated in Morehead man’s name

    During Wednesday morning’s highway dedication ceremony for late airman Daniel N. Fannin, 30, of Morehead, the man was honored as a Kentucky hero for dedicating his life to the U.S. Air Force until his untimely death last year.

    July 30, 2014

  • Stumbo questions Noah’s Ark incentives, backs off on expanded gambling

    Democratic Speaker of the House Greg Stumbo on Wednesday questioned the constitutionality of state incentives for a Noah’s Ark tourist attraction in Grant County.

    July 30, 2014

  • Night Moves for First Friday

    A chance to enjoy an evening run through the streets of Ashland will be among the things to do during the First Friday ArtWalk and Downtown Live for August in downtown Ashland from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday.

    July 30, 2014

  • ‘Arts in the Vines’ will be in conjunction with U.S. 60 Yard Sale

    Offering a different taste of life in Carter County, the owners of RockSprings Winery are inviting locals and visitors to the U.S. 60 Yard Sale to spend some time in their vineyards during the first “Arts in the Vines” from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday.

    July 30, 2014