Do you ever wonder what visitors think of the area you live in? Lyon County found out and is using that information to figure out how to attract more visitors and grow the community.
Six families visited Lyon County, without any locals knowing, at different periods between July and October.
They traveled into the county in different directions, so they would get a different view. Some came from Highway 641, through Fredonia. Others came from different directions on interstates 24 and 69. After their visit, they filled out a survey about the area.
Wayne Breedlove has invested years of time and money into the Kuttawa Harbor.
"A lot of money invested, and it's all about tourism," Breedlove said.
With a restaurant and marina to run, Breedlove says his entire business relies on the people that visit.
"That's the livelihood of it. We're excited to see new people, but we're excited to see more new people," Breedlove said.
Judge Executive Wade White says tourism is crucial in the area, so he hired the University of Kentucky group Cedik to help him find out what visitors think of the area.
"I need to get it out for everyone to see, so they can get our strengths and weaknesses," White said.
At a Lake Barkley Chamber of Commerce meeting last week the group released findings of surveys completed by visitors as part of the group's First Impression Program.
Visitors said reviews on sites like Yelp could be updated. The county is also working to put up more signs. Websites and tools to help people navigate the county are major areas Melissa Bonds with CEDIK says the county needs to work on.
"One thing we learned is: When people navigate on a phone, they have challenges in loading the website," Bonds said.
White is already putting the information to use.
"You've got to keep people coming in in order to build and make things better," White said.
He hopes it can keep businesses like the harbor strong, and people in the area employed.
Visitors enjoyed the park and waterways in Lyon County. White has already put new signs up in the area and is updating the website.
CEDIK has done the First Impression Program in seven different Kentucky counties.
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