Masterplan for Destination Resort
The Kentucky Chamber of Commerce convened a task force of business leaders in 2013 to address the
rapid economic decline in Kentucky’s eastern coalfields. Most of the selected task force members are
originally from eastern Kentucky – although their business successes have generally been achieved by
relocating outside the region – and they have sentimental attachments and deep loyalty to the region.
The focus of the task force has been on spurring economic development and job creation, specifically
through pursuing the untapped tourism potential of East Kentucky and identifying ways to create a
destination tourist attraction that will serve as a catalyst for additional economic development in the
region. The task force commissioned a study by AECOM in 2013 to identify possible tourism attractions
for the region and has concentrated most of its attention on the Red River Gorge, an area that serves as
a natural gateway to eastern Kentucky and which is close to several major metropolitan markets.
The Issuer of this Request for Proposals:
Red River Economic Development, LLC, (RRED), was created by the original Chamber task force as a
public-private partnership to oversee this project and to be the applicant for the federal and state grants
involved with the planning process. The non-profit group’s board of directors includes five business
leaders and the four chief elected officials representing the four counties that encompass the Red River
RRED seeks the services of an experienced planning and/or development firm or partnership of such
firms to partner with RRED to develop a masterplan for a destination resort and related tourism
attractions in the vicinity of Red River Gorge in eastern Kentucky, one hour east of Lexington on the
RRED is a single member LLC that operates under the umbrella of the Kentucky Chamber Foundation,
the charitable 501-c-3 arm of the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce.
RRED has secured funding from the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) and from multi-county coal
severance funds administered by the state of Kentucky, for the purposes of producing a masterplan for a
destination resort that will serve as a catalyst for additional economic developments in the Red River
Gorge region and throughout East Kentucky.
The attached concept paper outlines the general aspirations of RRED. The attached market study for a
resort was conducted for RRED by HVS hospitality consultants.
The goal of creating a masterplan is to attract a developer and or developers to successfully create a
destination resort and related tourism attractions in the region.
The complete RFP is available for download below.
Document available for download:
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