A group from across Perry County and the state of Kentucky gathered at Buckhorn Lodge on Wednesday, Aug. 8, to discuss ideas to improve Buckhorn Lake State Park, not only for use by the locals, but also as a tourist attraction to the region.
Some of the members of the group said that they had spken with many residents of Perry and the surrounding counties who have never visited Buckhorn or had no knowledge of the lodge or other attractions in the state resort park.
Several ideas were discussed at the meeting but it is unknown at this time what changes will be implemented or when, but the recommendations are expected to become plans in coming months, officials.
The group recognized the barriers facing the goal of revitalizing the area. Some of these barriers mentioned are the lack of internet availability, cell phone service and the landscape itself; which can also be considered one of the region’s greatest strengths.
“It’s one of the most beautiful drives in the world,” said Perry County Judge-Executive Scott Alexander, “But if you stop and say where you’re going the locals will say, ‘Oh you’re not going to go over that mountain are you?’” Alexander said one of the key aspects to positive change will be changing the public perception of the area locally and regionally.
Alexander said he hopes the park can attain local participation and sponsorships to improve.
They hope to start with smaller projects and changes to facilities/procedure and move onto a larger scale. One idea that gained the most support and excitement was the proposal to do guided wild horse tours in Perry County.
The group also discussed possibly hosting a public event at the lodge in the coming months that could feature kayaking, inflatables, live music and more, which could possible become an annual event.
“A lot of people are scared of change,” said Alexander, “but when you want a different outcome you’ve got to be willing to change somewhere.”