Better signs, sports travel are top priorities for CVB in 2017

Published 9:22 am Friday, December 23, 2016

The Convention and Visitors Bureau Board discussed a variety of topics on Thursday that could be top priorities for them in the next year.  

A top priority that was discussed at the meeting was wayfinding signage.  

CVB Director Jennifer Kirchner said it’s a top priority because of the lack of signage in Danville and Boyle County.  

“Our current signage is a mess,” she said. Besides the signs that are for the Wilderness Trail Distillery, there is nothing else that points people to different locations in the city and county along the bypass, she said.

Although this is a subject that is mainly in the hands of that city, the CVB plays a roll, as well.  

“I feel pretty strongly that they have the authority more than we do,” Kirchner said. “We need to be right there behind them supporting them.”  

According to Kirchner, City Engineer Earl Coffey is currently working on an request for proposals for signage.  

As far as funding goes, the CVB will have to work with City Manager Ron Scott.  

Having signs placed around the city is expensive, Kirchner said. The CVB should have a savings plan to pay for signs, she said.

“We are a tourist destination and it’s growing and it’s needed to have proper signs,” she said.  

Kirchner said RKG and Associates, the consulting firm developing a strategic plan for Danville and Boyle County, might be able to provide advice on signage, as well. RKG consultants return to the area in January.

Another topic discussed among the board was getting groups of people to travel together to Danville and Boyle County.

Kirchner said group travel was a focus in 2016, but there is more that can be done.  

“I know Pioneer Playhouse has seen an increase in group travel … but not much downtown,” she said.  

Board member Jerry Houck, who owns two restaurants in downtown Danville, said he has seen an increase in groups who come into the restaurant because of the large dinning room at Nellie Burton’s Steakhouse.

As far as tour buses coming into Danville-Boyle County, Cody Polston, general manager of the Hampton Inn, said there were only two buses that stopped at the hotel this year.  

Danville isn’t the most bus friendly area, Kirchner said. When buses do come through, they go to Cracker Barrel, she said, and “we struggle with how well we can accommodate.”  

Even though tour bus travel in the area is a challenge, “I don’t think we should neglect it,” she said.  

For group travel, Houck said the city can offer food, but as far as other activities go, it’s challenging.  

Kirchner said group travel should be addressed, but it shouldn’t be a top priority.

A topic that should be a priority, she said, is sports travel and focusing on Centre College.  

Sports tournaments and events are happening at Millennium Park throughout the year, she said.

“It’s so big and booming and popping,” she said. “We need more amenities out there.”  

An issue that occurs with tournaments and sporting events at Millennium Park is they are booked so far in advanced and there are times when they are cancelled. This creates a problem for hotels when the rooms are held for so long and then lost.  

Centre brings in a large amount of revenue to the hotels and restaurants in the area. Kirchner suggested that the CVB try to talk with Centre and figure out better ways to partner with them to help promote what Danville has to offer.  

Another topic discussed was public art.  

If you drive around downtown Lexington, or even other cities, there is public art all over the place, Kirchner said.

“Creating a photo-op is some of the best publicity you can get,” she said.  

Kirchner said for public art to come to Danville, there needs to be a regulation change.  

“It falls under the city,” she said.  

All of the items discussed at the meeting should be items that are brought up with consultants from RKG, Kirchner said.  

This is an opportunity for the CVB to show RKG what their priorities are and “how they meet up with what they are seeing and thinking,” she said.  

The CVB board will meet with RKG during their meeting in January.