Strategic Plan for Adventure Tourism
in Knott County
Click here for Knott County Strategic Plan - Phase 1 (completed) - PDF
Click here for Knott County Strategic Plan - Phase 2 (currently being implemented) - PDF
Click here for the Knott County Marketing Plan, PDF
Click here for the Knott County Mapping and Identifying Land Owners along the proposed Adventure Tourism Trails Report, PDF
FOREWORD Knott County’s Previous Efforts in Adventure Tourism
Knott County in Southeast Kentucky has embraced the idea of adventure tourism. Since 2006, the Knott County Fiscal Court has made “establishing a COUNTY-WIDEAdventure Tourism Park System” one of their primary goals.
To this end, Knott County has:
Acquired 10 acres and built a Training Center that includes both a training area and skills test course specifically for ATV and dirt bike rider to become certified.
There is an opportunity to add (at a very minimal cost since the property is already purchased and the facility is already built) an on-road motorcycle training course at this site thus making the Training Center multi-purpose for a much larger user group.
Obtained an easement on 600 acres of private property to create an ATV trailhead and that provides access to ATV trails within the northwest quadrant of the county.
There now needs to be a plan on how best to obtain access to other trails that lead off the 600 acres so the property does not get overly used and abused and have the trails properly identified and authorization obtained to access them.
Developed a partnership with Western Pocahontas Company and developed nearly 100 miles of horseback riding trails in the northwest region of the county that attracted 3000 people and 1500 horses to the site for a three day county sponsored trail ride.
There needs to be a plan developed that will enable people from all over to use the property on a more permanent basis other than just during the three-day event. Access issues will need to be addressed, infrastructure developed to handle such a load without destroying what makes the area so appealing in the first place, safety must be considered and maintenance issues.
Identified three other potential sites for publicly accessible ATV trailheads within the county with interest expressed by specific property owners to form a partnership with
the county to establish trailheads.
Partnerships need to be developed for the trailheads before county funds can be used to assist the landowners. And more importantly easements need to be obtained to access the actual trails themselves, basic infrastructure developed such as roads to the sites, parking areas, restroom facilities. There needs to be a plan developed to address this.
ADVENTURE TOURISM IS HAPPENING ACROSS KNOTT COUNTY!
Knott County attracted over 500 people to their first “Ground Poundin” ATV Trail Ride in the Spring of 2007 and nearly 700 people from 12 counties and four states to the Hare Scramble sanctioned trials during that same summer.
The first equestrian trail ride two years ago attracted 500 riders and 400 horses. This Fall, that same event attracted nearly 4,000 people and 2,500 horses to the area staying on average 3.5 days spending on average $92.82 per day in the area. The economic impact of just this one event was over $1.2 million dollars for the region. And each month, more and more people are coming to view elkin Knott County.
Hare Scramble at Sutton Memorial Park Elk viewing near Elk View Dr. First day of the Spring Horse Ride
Knott County has also within the last two years built a $7.2 million dollar, 60,000 square foot Sportsplex that is attracting visitors from 23 counties and five states. Opening in the Fall of 2007, the facility hosted 48 basketball teams and their families in a two-day tournament in October, 53 teams in November and in December, 68 teams. That equates to over 1500 people who came to Knott County over a three month period just to play or watch basketball.
The Sportsplex has now started volleyball and bowling leagues. In the summer, baseball leagues and tournaments are played on site and eventually soccer will be added. Numerous knife & gun shows have been held as well as the first everElk Expo which drew thousands.
And in the Fall of 2006, Knott County built a skate park for both bikes and skate boarders and opened a community swimming pool.
This is a county that has limited lodging, two campgrounds that stay full all the time, and very few restaurants, many of which are actually gas station/fast food restaurants combined!
Knott County needs a strategic plan to fully capitalize on its Adventure Tourism opportunities!