Battling for tourism dollars | Arkansas Blog

Friday, April 20, 2007

Battling for tourism dollars

Posted By on Fri, Apr 20, 2007 at 10:12 AM

Interesting news release from Kentucky, on the jump, claiming Arkansas tourism officials have been bad-mouthing Lake Cumberland unfairly.

Any anglers/boaters out there with insight?

I have a call into the Ozark Tourism office that put out the offending news release, but no return so far.

NEWS RELEASE

FRANKFORT, KY – Kentucky Tourism Commissioner Randy Fiveash is asking a local Arkansas tourism official to stop spreading inaccurate statements about Lake Cumberland, following a water level reduction for needed repairs to Wolf Creek Dam.

Fiveash writes: “I’m confident that if someone spread inaccuracies about your region in hopes of discouraging visitation, you’d be highly insulted. As a fellow tourism professional, I’m sure you would never try to misrepresent the facts just to attract more visitors to your area.”

On April 11, The Ozark Mountain Region tourism association, based in Flippin, Arkansas, sent out a press release titled: Lake Cumberland’s Woes Equal Tourism Boost for Ozark Mountain Region. The release was sent out nationally through PRNewswire, a press release distribution service.

The release said the Arkansas area was ready to handle the “millions (of) vacationers who may be displaced by the Wolf Creek Dam water shortage crisis that leaves Lake Cumberland boaters and fisherman high and dry for an estimated seven years.”

Lt. Col. Steven J. Roemhildt, commander of the Corps’ Nashville District, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer district in charge of the repair project, has been quoted as saying that the lake has plenty of water to enjoy and suggestions otherwise are disingenuous.

The letter states: “The fact is, access to Lake Cumberland still is very easy. As of today, nine ramps are open for business, and within a few short weeks, 21 will be available, including all of the ramps that handle the heaviest traffic. Millions of dollars are being invested in improving access and area attractions. “
Fiveash called the release inaccurate and disappointing and asked the local tourism group to refrain from using erroneous information in the future. Fiveash pointed officials to www.KentuckyTourism.com to view a photo gallery showing a full lake and two web cams showing live pictures of boats on the water. He concluded by inviting officials from the Arkansas group to Kentucky for a first hand tour.

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