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Kentucky Continues Phased Approach to Reopening Tourism

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Kentucky continues to take positive steps forward in its efforts to reopen tourism and boost the state’s economy while continuing to fight the novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19).

Reopening Kentucky tourism is part of an ongoing effort to safely provide in-state travel opportunities and generate revenue in local communities through travel spending.

Kentucky has taken a phased approach to reopening tourism beginning with the opening of state park lodging on June 1.

Gov. Andy Beshear has announced that the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet reopened the Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History on June 8.

“Kentucky tourism serves a vital role in sustaining local communities and small businesses that thrive on travel spending,” said Gov. Beshear. “As summer arrives, it is important that we ensure our reopening efforts protect the health and well-being of our fellow Kentuckians as well as distribute economic recovery across the commonwealth.”

The Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History reopened for “Member Monday” in accordance with Healthy at Work guidelines, which allows museums to resume operations on June 8. Kentucky State Park historical sites and museums also reopened to the public.

The reopening of the center includes the permanent gallery of A Kentucky Journey, Hall of Governors, Poetry in Color: Paul Sawyier’s Two Villages and the current Keeneland Gallery exhibition. The Old State Capitol and the Kentucky Military History Museum will not reopen at this time.

Reopening tourism plays a significant role in generating revenue, helping local businesses and allowing more Kentuckians get back to work.

“Tourism spending in Kentucky is already starting to rebound as we head into the summer,” said Tourism, Arts, and Heritage Cabinet Secretary Mike Berry. “We believe this a positive sign for the future of tourism recovery, and we are hopeful this upward trend continues as reopening efforts are underway in Kentucky.”

In preparation for summer travel, Kentucky tourism officials analyzed data from a national COVID-19 U.S. Travel Sentiment Survey about how and when travel will resume. Studies suggest nearly 50% of respondents now feel safe taking a road trip and 57% feel safe engaging in outdoor recreational activities. These findings perfectly align with Kentucky’s central location and expansive park system.

The Kentucky tourism June reopening timeline is as follows:

June 1:           

•    Kentucky State Resort Parks, recreational parks, lodges, and cabins

•    Fishing tournaments

•    Aquatic Centers

•    Auto and dirt racetracks

•    Movie theaters

June 8:           

•    Lake Cumberland, Lake Barkley, Buckhorn and Blue Licks Kentucky State Parks

•    Distilleries

•    Aquariums

•    Limited outdoor attractions

•    Kentucky State Park museum and historical sites

•    Salato Wildlife Education Center

•    Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History

•    Historical horseracing

June 11:         

•    Kentucky Horse Park, campgrounds

June 17:         

•    First competitive horse show at Kentucky Horse Park (without spectators)

June 29:         

•    Gatherings with 50 people or fewer

•    Venues that hold 50 people or fewer

For travelers planning a Kentucky getaway, discover the Bluegrass State by downloading the Kentucky Official Visitor’s Guide or take a virtual tour of tourism attractions from across the commonwealth.

For a copy of the Official Highway Map for your next Kentucky road trip, visit http://transportation.ky.gov

For more information about the state owned tourism attractions open to the public, visit the Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet website at http://tah.ky.gov

(provided by Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet of Kentucky)

Paul Hitchcock earned his Masters in Communications from Morehead State University and Bachelors in Radio-TV/Psychology from Georgetown College. A veteran broadcaster for more than 40 years and an avid fan of blues, jazz and American roots music. Hitchcock has been with WMKY since 1986 and was named General Manager in 2003. He currently hosts "Muddy Bottom Blues" (Fri., 8pm-9pm), "Nothin' But The Blues" (Sat., 8pm-12am), "Sunday Night Jazz Showcase" and "Live From The Jazz Lounge" (Sun., 8pm-9pm) and "The Golden Age of Radio" (Sun., 2pm-3pm). He also serves as producer for "A Time For Tales" and "The Reader's Notebook."
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