Mayor Fischer wants "Bourbonism" to boom in Louisville
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- It is a plan to get more tourists on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail and to get them to Louisville as well.
Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer even created a new word to help grow the city's bourbon and food economy: Bourbonism.
"It is a new type of tourism," said the mayor," and we need to take advantage of it and to expand it."
Standing behind the bar at the Brown Hotel in downtown Louisville Monday morning, Mayor Fischer unveiled a 22-page report that makes several recommendations to attract more tourists.
One of the recommendations is to create a bourbon visitors center in downtown Louisville, perhaps along Main Street.
"It would be a local hub," he said, "where people could catch buses to local distilleries or go out in the state, maybe a daily regular tour, we need to have good transportation."
The recommendations also include what the report calls an annual world class bourbon and food festival, plus a common marketing strategy to promote the city's beverage and food industries.
The CEO of the Louisville Convention and Visitors Bureau, Karen Williams, and Larry Kass of Heaven Hill Distillery were two of the members of the group that helped draft the plan and recommendations.
"It is going to help us regionally within a 300 mile radius," said Williams, "people will be able to come and visit and I think that will help the leisure industry in the future."
Kass' company opened the Evan Williams Bourbon Experience in downtown Louisville last November. He says attendance has met expectations.
"On the Bourbon Trail we always bemoan the fact that we have incredible visitor numbers from states like Tennessee and Ohio," Kass said, "but we always say we wish we could get more people coming from Kentucky, kind of discovering what they have in their own back yards."
Bourbon continues to be good for the Louisville economy.
According to the mayor's office, it provides 4,200 jobs and in 2012 had $50 million in capital projects underway, projects like the Evan Williams Bourbon Experience.
Look for more bourbon attractions in downtown Louisville in the not too distant future.