GAYS CREEK -- A new campground has just opened in Perry County, and local officials are hoping it will bring tourism to the area.
The project has been a long time coming since the old campground at Gays Creek closed many years ago, and now the area has received a much-needed overhaul thanks to the hard work and cooperation of several local groups. Along with the overhaul, the grounds also got a new name -- Eagle's Landing.
The campground is located near Buckhorn, only a few miles from Buckhorn Lake State Resort. The renovations include all new RV camping spots with power, bathrooms, primitive camping, grills and playground. Perry County Judge-Executive Denny Ray Noble told WSGS radio in Hazard that entertainment options like horseback riding and walking trails should come in the future.
The grand opening held on Tuesday gave onlookers the chance to check out the new facility and hear some of the stories of how the campground came together. Tawny Hogg, with the Hazard-Perry County Tourism Commission, said that this project exemplifies what can be accomplished when people toward a common goal.
“This park is a great representation of what we have done both locally through our coal miners and our coal severance money, to our representatives and senators, through our mayor and judge who have all come together to make this a reality,” said Hogg.
Buckhorn Mayor Vita Wooton added that she is really appreciative of all the work members of the community have put into bringing back the old campground.
“I want to express appreciation to Judge Noble, the fiscal court and Perry County tourism," Wooton said. "They have done an outstanding job. Eagle's Landing will soon be a destination for campers from far and near, and also for our people in this area.”
As a part of the adventure tourism push in Eastern Kentucky, the campground is looking to expand and offer more events and activities. According to Pat Wooton, Congressman Hal Rogers’ field representative, this is a major project for the congressman across the region.
“Across our congressional district we have made a lot of progress,” said Wooton. “As you know, tourism along with PRIDE and UNITE are the three major programs of Congressman Rogers.”
“We still have problems, but in areas where folks work together -- city government, county governments, state officials and federal officials and citizens -- we make progress,” said Wooton. “Perry County is one of those areas in our congressional district.”
Several local agencies have worked on the project, including members of the Perry County Fiscal Court, tourism board, City of Hazard, City of Buckhorn, legislators, and even the Kentucky River Regional Jail, which has brought crews to help out at the site.
When the project was completed, the hard work of all of these people was clearly visible.
“It is beautiful,” said state Representative Fitz Steele. “It is better than when I can remember it back when I was a pup.”
The campground is currently open to campers. For information on the campground you can call (606) 439-1816.