Opening of distillery a good step to funnel funds into local economy,

but only one step of many that’s needed

 

After lots of waiting, Dueling Barrels Brewery & Distillery finally opened its doors in Pikeville Wednesday, making it the furthest eastern destination on Kentucky’s Bourbon Trail, and we could not be more excited for what it has to offer this community and the rest of of Eastern Kentucky.

In addition to bringing visitors to Pikeville to spend money on food and drinks at the distillery, those visitors will need other accommodations. Those same visitors need lodging, gasoline, multiple daily meals and refreshments, and guess what? We have some of the best there is to offer right here. 

Having that foundation in place means those dollars will be spread out in this community, with more than one entity and job sustainer reaping the benefits of this new facility.

It has been said on numerous occasions that tourism is one key in turning the region’s economy around, but that it’s not the end-all answer, and, although we agree with that statement, we firmly believe that there is a need for continued investment in tourism infrastructure, by both public and private partners.

We ask that more options be provided — more opportunities for tourists and visitors, more lodging, local eateries and local attractions so that, instead of people coming in to spend a weekend, they turn that into a week-long endeavor. 

In the last few years we have seen that happening. With the addition of the Zip, Paddle and Saddle at Bob Amos Park; the expanded offerings at the Breaks Interstate Park, including zip lines over the gorge, horseback riding and rock climbing; marketing and preservation of historical sites, specifically those related to the Hatfield and McCoy feud; and more events at local venues and outdoor locations including Main Street Live! and other initiatives offered by the Pikeville Main Street Program; we believe that tourism is going to, and has already been, a big factor in the economic growth of this community.

We love to see the momentum picking up and, anytime we see a new offering or event popping up in the area we get a feeling of excitement and hope, but we don’t want to become complacent. We don’t want tourism to end here. This county has made leaps and bounds as far as tourism is concerned, but there’s still a lot that needs to be done and we need our local leaders to agree on that and to utilize what is in front of them: the beautiful landscape of the mountains, our fun waterways, our generous, hospitable population and our first-class entertainment in our local artists. 

To those of you who have played a role in making this county more desirable to tourists, we applaud you and your efforts, and we hope to see those efforts continue.

— Appalachian News-Express,

Pikeville

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