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Proposed tourism plan for Red River Gorge includes eco-resort

Proposed plan for the Red River Gorge Resort.
Proposed plan for the Red River Gorge Resort.(Red River Economic Development, LLC)
Published: Sep. 29, 2020 at 9:39 PM EDT
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POWELL COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) - The Red River Economic Development unveiled a new comprehensive tourism strategy Tuesday afternoon.

The planning process originally called for community forums and workshops, but the COVID-19 pandemic halted all in-person meetings.

The plan calls for the development of various tourism attractions, an integrated rail network, a four-county tourism coordinating group with Lee, Menifee, Powell and Wolfe County officials, along with joint marketing of the Gorge area.

The proposed resort is a high-end, 4.5-star resort that would include a 170-room lodge with a full-service spa, a full-service restaurant, a distillery and/or brew-pub, conference facilities, a gathering lawn for outdoor events and live performances, an indoor/outdoor swimming pool, villas and a limited number of private residences.

The proposed location is a privately-owned 891-acre site off the Slade exit on the Mountain Parkway, just outside of the Red River Gorge Geological Area and the Daniel Boone National Forest. The resort would create upwards of 500 jobs, according to consulting firm Stantec.

The preliminary cost is estimated to be in the range of $135 million.

“I’m excited about this amazing opportunity for our region. Tourism, without sacrificing environmental integrity, is a positive growth engine for the Red River Gorge area. I look forward to working with my counterparts at the other tourism boards to create much-needed jobs. If we do this right, we can become a model for the nation in balancing our top two priorities," said Powell County Tourism Director Miranda Fallen.

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