Department of Tourism
"Mythbuster" Named to Assist on Lake Cumberland Efforts
Bill Jasper, operator of the State Dock at Lake Cumberland, says part of his daily job involves correcting misconceptions about the water level at Lake Cumberland. “When people come here they are amazed at all the water still here," Jasper says. “In fact, newcomers tell me they don’t know what all the fuss is about, this lake is awesome.”
In fact, Diann Boone, General Manager of Grider Hill Dock on Lake Cumberland, has heard mainly positive comments from houseboat and moorage customers once they arrive at the lake. “Best time ever; we were able to explore more, and it is easier to tie up the houseboats at this elevation” are comments Ms. Boone hears. “The additional shoreline gives the lake a new look with beaches.”
Both operators say they continually hear comments on how great the hospitality is in the Lake Cumberland area and throughout Kentucky. Even so, myths about the lower water level have been blamed on a 20% drop in visitation to the lake, according to statistics from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
To ensure that the myths are consistently attacked while dam repairs are underway, Governor Ernie Fletcher has directed the Kentucky Department of Tourism to redouble its efforts to communicate Lake Cumberland’s advantages to vacationers. “This is a vital time of year for the people and businesses in the Lake Cumberland area,” said Governor Fletcher.” We must do everything we can to ensure that the accurate message gets out to vacationers that Lake Cumberland remains open and ready for business.”
To best accomplish the Governor’s directive, Tourism Commissioner Randy Fiveash determined he wanted to have a person located on site in the Lake Cumberland region. That’s why he has named Van Back of Monticello to fight the erroneous myths and communicate Lake Cumberland’s offerings to travelers. Back, a native of Wayne County, will begin his duties immediately and will work in conjunction with Hilda Legg, Governor Fletcher’s point person for Lake Cumberland issues.
“Van will be a daily liaison with the tourism businesses around the lake, letting us in Frankfort know their needs, trends and experiences,” said Fiveash. “Van lives in the Lake Cumberland area and knows the issues. Having him on-site will allow the Department of Tourism to attack myths faster and deal with issues and opportunities as they come up.”
“Lake Cumberland is a love of mine,” added Back. “Being able to contribute to the success of area businesses and residents and keep visitors coming here will be a very rewarding experience.”
Most recently, Back was Director of Community Development for the Southern and Eastern Kentucky Tourism Development Association (SEKTDA) where he was responsible for assisting with the planning, implementation and evaluation of community development projects for the 47-county region of southern and eastern Kentucky. He also served as Harbor Master for the Conley Bottom Resort, where he worked to draw travelers to the Lake Cumberland region.
Back has a degree from the University of Kentucky and is a Certified Kentucky Tourism Professional. He and his wife Karen have been married five years.
For information on Lake Cumberland, including up to date ramp conditions, in Kentucky dial 5-1-1 and select the tourism option, out of state call 1-877-868-7735 or visit www.KentuckyTourism.com.
The Kentucky Department of Tourism, an agency of the Kentucky Commerce Cabinet, exists to promote The Commonwealth as a travel destination, generate revenue and create jobs for Kentucky’s economy