Brent Cooper, President of the NKY Chamber of Commerce announces the 2019 bourbon convention
Many times a particular industry fails to receive the credit it is due related to community impact because many of its jobs may not be highly skilled and accordingly don’t pay all that well and affect payroll taxes.
Take the hospitality business, meaning hotels, attractions and restaurants. While some of those jobs may be lower paying the economic impact of visitor spending is undeniable. That notion was driven home with the recent annual report of the Northern Kentucky Convention Bureau known now as meetNKY. In fact, tourism in the region is now a FIVE BILLION DOLLAR business. In 2018, meetNKY surpassed its all-time record for hotel occupancy at nearly 73%. These numbers are incredibly important with Covington hosting a half dozen of the largest hotels meetNKY services.
Further convention and event demand remains strong with $53 million in future convention bookings are confirmed. Many of those meetings will be held at the Convention Center in Covington. Tour and travel groups brought more than 18,000 room nights to NKY last year.
meetNKY President Eric Summe and his staff are to be applauded for their efforts and with initiatives such as the BLine and its four Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour distilleries, five bars and five restaurants spawning our area’s first ever bourbon convention this fall, the results should only grow stronger.
It’s achievements like this that make it more important than ever that the Covington Business Council and other area agencies, Renaissance, Catalytic Fund, Southbank Partners, and many more continue to work together to make Northern Kentucky’s largest city as vibrant as possible.
Written by Pat Frew, Executive Director, Covington Business Council