Tourism is a $60 billion a year industry in Appalachia. The majority of that money goes to three communities — Asheville, Pittsburgh, and Gatlinburg.
We know that has to change.
That’s why Shaping Our Appalachian Region, Inc. (SOAR) has announced its first-ever Mini Summit, presented by Kentucky Power, focused on Tourism and Downtown Revitalization on March 7-8 in Ashland, Kentucky.
The two-day event will be held at the historic Paramount Arts Center, the Delta Hotel, and the Ashland Train Depot. A special Early Bird rate of $30 is available now through February 4. After that, registration will be $45. You can register HERE.
“We’re excited to bring this event to Ashland and northeastern Kentucky,” said Colby Hall, Executive Director of SOAR. “This part of Appalachia Kentucky is home to some innovative and collaborative efforts focused on tourism, downtown revitalization, and entrepreneurship, and we believe this is a great place to have conversations, share best practices, and continue to move our region forward.”
This event will have many similarities to the annual SOAR Summit, Appalachia’s premier event. The Mini Summit will include the following:
- A Pre-Summit Session on March 7 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
- A SOAR Mini Summit Reception on the evening of March 7 at the Ashland Train Depot.
- A Country Music Highway Tribute Show at the Paramount Arts Center following the Mini Summit Reception.
- Breakout Sessions on the morning of March 8:
- No Hotel? No Problem! | Leveraging Airbnb and other platforms to create unique and destination-driven lodging in your community
- Your destination begins with your downtown | Positioning your downtown to welcome tourists
- The Digital Space | How are you telling your story
- Small Towns Big Impact | Small communities making a big splash attracting tourists
- A plenary session with a keynote speaker and panel discussions on the afternoon of March 8.
- Breakfast and lunch on March 8.
You can view the agenda HERE.
SOAR is proud to partner with Visit AKY to host the SOAR Mini Summit.
Visit AKY has worked to provide attendees a variety of discounted lodging options in the Ashland area. Attendees will also have the opportunity to choose a lunch destination on March 8, including both local restaurants and food trucks.