Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley help to pump in more than a $1 billion a year to western Kentucky, but Venture River co-owner Ben Jent believes more can be done to give Lyon County recognition as a tourist destination.
"Tourism drives these counties around the lake, and we need to never forget that," he told Local 6.
The sentiment is shared by county leaders who are hoping to come up with a comprehensive plan to promote an area that sees a million tourists each year. Ideas include improvements to parks and roads, more signs pointing to popular hot spots and entertainment ideas for the new amphitheater.
Another useful tool may be social media. The president of the Lake Barkley Chamber of Commerce wants business owners to embrace sites like Facebook to advertise. "We need to work on doing more things to let people know about the lake and what benefits we have," said Chamber President Jim Stott.
For him, the key is marketing the county as more family friendly.
"People are excited about it. They want to work together. They want to build something here that people will be proud of," Stott said.
It's the visitors who are allowing Jent to pay for a $1 million expansion planned next year. "We are committed to the area. The area's been very good to us," he said.
Pre-construction for the expansion is already underway. Construction work will begin this fall.
Earlier this year, a third party released a community assessment report on Lyon County. To read it, click here.