WHITEWATER in KENTUCKY - Potential for Huge ECONOMIC IMPACT in the Region.
Similar Park Has Huge Economic Impact! Clear Creek Whitewater Park in Golden Colorado, offering an 800-foot long course, attracted over 45,000 kayakers, canoeists and inner tubers over a three year period creating an economic impact of $2.3 million and a significant increase in visitors to the downtown area.*
Interesting Side Note: Golden Colorado is about the same distance from the Denver Airport as Bowling Green is from the Nashville Airport.
South Bend Indiana opened East Race Waterway in 1984. The park draws over 20,000 paddlers a summer and ignited a $50 million development boom in which restaurants, shops, apartments and a chocolate factory replaced a dingy industrial area.
A recent Outdoor Industry Association survey showed 6.4 million Americans kayaked in 2000, a 50% increase in two years. And the number of kayaking "enthusiasts" - those who kayaked at least 10 times - increased 150% over the same period.**
* From article by Susquehanna Park Alliance
** From article by Joe Miller, Newsobserver.com
On September 22nd 2005, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, City of Bowling Green, and the Greenways Commission of Bowling Green & Warren County introduced concept plans for a whitewater course within Mitch McConnell Park as part of a revitalization plan for downtown Bowling Green. Over 60 people were in attendance.
Gary Lacy of Recreational Engineering and Planning presented the concept plan at the whitewater workshop on September 22nd 2005.
In one week's time, the number of citizens expressing an interest in seeing this project become a reality has more than doubled including kayak-enthusiasts from Louisville, Lexington and as far away as Indiana and Missouri. These numbers are increasing daily as word spreads.