A Leitchfield businessman wants to get the city on the two-wheeled world’s map.
Rick Embry, of Embry’s Bike Division, approached the city’s tourism commission Tuesday, July 24, with the idea of trying to get Leitchfield listed as a destination in national bicycling magazines.
The goal, Embry said, would be to encourage cyclists to swing into town by pointing out the amenities available — free or low-cost camping, public showers, laundry facilities, restaurants, and motels.
Bicyclists are already coming to the area, he said. He’s set up rough camping for some behind his shop, and opened his home to others.
“Over the last couple of years I’ve probably entertained 5o to 60 people at my house,” he said.
Cycling maps, such as those available through Adventure Cycling magazine, are routing people to Rough River for camping, Embry said. “We want to bring them to Leitchfield. We don’t want to send them to Rough River,” he said.
He also suggested exploring the possibility of setting up some bicycling trails or routes within the city, or developing mountain biking trails to attract area riders.
Embry suggested the commission commit to a $1,500, 18-month advertising program with Adventure Cycling. Tourism director Ilsa Johnson agreed to look into the magazine’s advertising rates and whether any state funding — through Grayson County’s tourism program — might be available to help offset the cost.
In other action, the commission:
* Denied a request from representatives of Clarkson’s Honeyfest committee for a financial donation toward that festival, because commissioners can’t spend money on events outside of Leitchfield.
*Approved a $1,000 grant toward a Sept. 1 5K run to benefit the Grayson County Alliance’s Food Pantry. Organizer Laura Goff said the run — in its second year — will be held within Leitchfield’s James. D. Beville Park.
Last year the run raised more than $300 and 300 pounds of food for the food pantry, Goff said. More than 80 runners are anticipated this year, up from 60 last year.
* Learned a feasibility study on whether Leitchfield can afford to build and operate an indoor pool is still ongoing. City and tourism officials have visited several pools in the St. Louis area, as well as in Ohio County, to get ideas for a possible local pool.
* Approved a $1,716 donation request from Leitchfield’s girls’ slow pitch softball program to help pay for awards for the state softball tournament.