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Home News Local News Tourism plan, including $135 million resort, released for Red River Gorge

Tourism plan, including $135 million resort, released for Red River Gorge

Source: Red River Economic Development

RED RIVER GORGE, Ky. (WTVQ) – Tourism officials have released plans to attract more visitors to the Red River Gorge area.

The planning process conducted for Red River Economic Development by the Stantec consulting firm included two main components: the potential for developing a destination resort and the identification of key opportunities to advance economic development through tourism for the four-county Red River Gorge area.

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The RRED hosted its fourth virtual town hall meeting on Tuesday, unveiling details about new attractions which includes an integrated rail network and resort.

The proposed five-story hotel would also include an indoor and outdoor pool, outdoor amphitheatre for entertainment, restaurant, distillery and more. It comes at a price tag of around $135 million.

Part of the funding comes from a federal grant of $500,000 which was matched by the state and includes a two part master plan. Canadian company Stantec was selected, after an RFP, and has been working on the design for the past eight months.

The proposed location would be an 890-acre site off the Slade interchange, near the Mountain Parkway.

Tourism officials say the construction would be eco-friendly and sustainable, keeping the natural beauty of the area in mind.

As far as numbers, the 4.5 star resort is estimated to bring in around 90,000 visitors a year which would represent about $79 million in economic impact, also employing some 350 people.

Tourism officials say they will spend the next six months going to investors.

Other existing facilities in the area could also see a facelift and upgrades, to allow for additional development in Slade.

You can watch part 1 of the virtual meeting, HERE. Part 2 is available, HERE.

Additional information and reports can be viewed HERE.

Read the backstory, HERE.


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Erica joins the ABC 36 family as a Co-Anchor of Good Morning Kentucky weekday mornings from 5am-7am with Cody Adams and Good Day Kentucky weekday mornings from 9am to 10am. Erica also anchors News at Midday from 12-12:30pm. She is also a Web and Social Media Content Producer. Erica graduated in three and a half years from Michigan State University with a Bachelor's degree in Broadcast Journalism and specialization in Women, Gender and Social Justice. Although she hails from Michigan, Erica has worked as a News Reporter/Sports Anchor for the CBS-affiliate in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. Prior to that, she worked for a PBS-affiliate there covering all types of news – even providing live reports for The Weather Channel during her first hurricane. She then moved to Lake Charles, Louisiana and worked as the Weekend Anchor/Reporter at KPLC, the NBC/FOX/CW affiliate. Erica comes to Lexington from the Huntington area where she worked at WSAZ, an NBC/CW affiliate in West Virginia, as a weekday evening anchor covering the tri states of Ohio and Kentucky as well. In addition to her background on TV, Erica has worked in radio, served as the PA announcer for the Class A "Lansing Lugnuts" and hosted Carnival parades in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Some of her favorite hobbies include running, reading, hiking, spending time with her husband and taking pictures of their furbabies. Erica is big on community involvement, having served as a board member for Dress for Success, volunteered as a Big with Big Brothers Big Sisters, worked on the Mayor's Armed Forces Commission in Lake Charles and hosted countless events. She hopes you can connect with her on Facebook: EricaBivensTV and on Twitter: @ericabivens or Instagram: erica.bivens. You can also email her at ebivens@wtvq.com. Please send all event inquiries via email. Erica is excited to explore Lexington and the outdoors and - of course - meet all of you!