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Travel writers are talking about Lebanon

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By Stephen Lega

Lebanon has been getting some good publicity lately, according to Carla Wagner, the executive director of the Lebanon Tourist and Convention Commission.
She told the commission during its May 12 meeting that they hosted some travel writers recently, which will bring attention to the community.
Dana McMahan of bodybybourbon.com and her husband visited Lebanon in April, and they are working on pieces that might be of interest to “foodies” and bourbon lovers.
“They want something specific to the area, something a little bit different,” Wagner told the commissioners.
She added that Kentucky Monthly is working on features about every county in Kentucky, and Doug Bardwell (dougbardwell.com) made a stop in Marion County recently. He wrote about his visits to Maker’s Mark, White Moon Winery and Limestone Branch Distillery, Kentucky Cooperage and Hampton Inn.
Wagner also reported that a new website, kyholylands.com is close to launching. She also met with Adam Johnson of the Kentucky Distillers Association and Pam Thomas of the Bluegrass Cycling Club about adding Lebanon to the Bike the Bourbon Trail website.

Popes Creek is winning fans
Wagner reported that a Dutch RV group recently spent two days in Marion County, which included a stay at Popes Creek Ranch and dining in Lebanon. Wagner said the group told her they’d never seen anything like Popes Creek Ranch in Europe.
She also said that she met recently with Vince Carman of the Kentucky Mountain Biking Association about possibly creating mountain biking trails for a variety of skill levels at Popes Creek Ranch.
“He loved, loved, loved the atmosphere at Popes Creek Ranch,” Wagner said.
She added that they discussed the possibility of a bike trail from Lebanon to Fagan Branch Reservoir following the path of the old railroad tracks. Wagner explained that that property now belongs to adjacent property owners, but state officials are discussing possible ways to make that property available for public use.

Brussell stepping down from commission
Carlotta Brussell has served on the Lebanon Tourist and Convention Commission for nine years, and when her term expires June 30, she will be stepping down.
“I am proud of what we have done,” Brussell said.
She added that she feels the commission is in good hands.
Commission Chairman Brad Lanham said Brussell has been an asset to the organization, and he encouraged her to look back over what the commission accomplished during her tenure.
“We really appreciate all the work you’ve done,” Lanham said.
He said he is hopeful that the commission will be as successful during the next nine years.
Brussell said the commission has come a long way.
“I’m leaving with no regrets,” she said.

In other business:
- The commission received bids from Allen Gaddis of Campbellsville and Nukem Graphics in Lebanon about printing 23 pole banners to promote events and attractions in Lebanon. Gaddis’ bid would cost $3,795 for vinyl banners and $4,370 for sunbrella banners (which is the same material used for the banners at Centre Square). Nukem Graphics bid would cost $4,025 for vinyl banners and $5,980 for sunbrella banners.
Wagner said the commission is working with the Marion County Chamber of Commerce on this project and the chamber will have final say on which direction they go. She added that the commission put $4,000 in the budget in 2011 for this project. So far they’ve spent around $2,400 for designs for the banners, she told the commission. The commission approved a motion by David Winebrenner for up to another $3,000 toward the cost of the banners.
- The tourist commission is waiting on a final judgment in the Lebanon annexation case recently decided by the Kentucky Supreme Court. The court ruled 6-1 in favor of the city’s annexation, but the property owners who opposed the annexation have filed a petition seeking a rehearing of the case. The city has collected property, occupational and restaurant taxes on properties in the annexed area since 2006, but those taxes will remain in escrow pending a final resolution of the court case.
- Winebrenner expressed his support for the commission launching its Visit Lebanon KY smartphone app. He said it is comprehensive and up to date.
“I really like it in this world of apps that we live in,” he said.
- Wagner said the Color In Motion 5K returns to Lebanon on Saturday. Volunteers can still help with stuffing packets on Thursday and Friday, and race day volunteers can meet her at 6 a.m. Saturday near the starting line on Fairground Road.
- Wagner reported that Mike FM is no longer sponsoring the Dickens Christmas Parade. *

* Dennis George of Mike FM said that the radio station is still sponsoring the event.

- Paul Childers, a musician from Lebanon, performed at Centre Square this past weekend. Wagner reported that he had crowds of around 80 and 150 people Friday and Saturday night, respectively.
- The commission’s monthly report listed five businesses that were two or more months behind on their restaurant taxes. They are El Rincon Michoacano (five months), both Lebanon Subway locations (four months), McB’s (three months) and Ragetti’s (two months). El Rincon is no longer open.
- The commission ended its meeting with an executive session to discuss the possible acquisition or sale of property. The commission is allowed to discuss this in closed session under state law if public discussion could affect the value of the property in question.

Tourist commission launches smartphone app
The Lebanon Tourist and Convention Commission has announced that it now has an app for iOS (iPhones, iPads and similar devices) and Android devices.
The app is called Visit Lebanon Kentucky.
The Visit Lebanon KY app can be found at the ITunes App Store and at the Google Play Store.
The app includes information about activities and attractions in and around Lebanon. It will also includes updates on upcoming events, such as music and theatre presentations and, just maybe, local Turtleman appearances.
To download the app, go to www.visitlebanonky.com and scroll down where visitors can find links to download the app for Apple and Android devices app.