Leaders Mull Convention-Visitors Bureau Split
By West Kentucky Star Staff
PADUCAH - The McCracken County Fiscal Court is currently entertaining the idea of splitting the Paducah Convention and Visitors Bureau into two different organizations so the city of Paducah can also benefit from tourism.

As of now, the bureau works on behalf of both the city and the county, and is funded by a six percent county transient room tax, which is charged to visitors who stay in hotels, motels or other accommodations. Three percent goes to the CVB, and the rest goes to the Carson Center and the Convention Center Corporation. 

County Commissioner Eddie Jones is in favor of the idea of allowing the city to form their own organization and charge an additional three percent tax, for a total of nine percent tax on lodging.

Jones said, "This would generate about an extra million dollars in revenue (per year) from the way that we sell our town, and the goal is to use that money in a way that actually generates more hotels, more heads in beds, if you will."

He said a commission would be set up to manage the money and promote tourism. It would include people from the hotel industry, restaurant industry, a chamber of commerce member, and people appointed by the County Judge-Executive.

At Monday's Fiscal Court meeting, commissioners discussed the idea, but tabled it until they can hold discussions with city leaders. 

As for how the money could be used, Jones said he has seen examples of sports facilities in other cities, and believes that Paducah and McCracken County could benefit from having something similar.

Jones is in favor of trying to acquire the Sportsplex property on US Highway 60 and developing the surrounding land. He knows some people have concerns about flooding in that area, but says his initial conversations with civil engineers and developers indicate that the idea is feasible. 

Jones added that much more discussion and research is necessary on a specific project, regardless of location, and he is open to ideas and comments from anyone on the subject. 

A meeting with city leaders to discuss the idea has not yet been set.

Published 05:31 PM, Thursday May. 16, 2019
Updated 03:32 PM, Friday May. 17, 2019

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