A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

VisitLEX launches new website in redesigned space to offer personalized experience for visitors

As Kentucky restarts tourism efforts, VisitLEX has launched its new website in a redesigned space that offers a personalized experience for every visitor. The site serves multiple travel audiences and includes a variety of information from attractions, restaurants and a calendar of events to hotels, special event venues and inspirational articles written by locals. “Every part of the new VisitLEX.com...

Keeneland, partners expand COVID-19 support with introduction of Nourish the Backstretch

Nourish the Backstretch, a partnership between Keeneland, Nourish Lexington and Blue Grass Farms Charities (BGFC) will provide weekly meals and groceries to stable-area workers at Keeneland and The Thoroughbred Center (TTC). More than 500 people are employed by trainers to care for horses at the two locations. Proceeds from wagers placed through Keeneland Select, Keeneland’s online ADW, during May...

Nourish Lexington initiative to employ displaced food service workers, feed Lexington families in need

Several Central Kentucky community organizations have announced the creation of Nourish Lexington, an initiative to utilize hospitality workers recently unemployed due to the COVID-19 closings as well as other community food assets to provide prepared meals to those who need immediate access to food. FoodChain, with support from the E.E. Murry Family Foundation, Keeneland and VisitLEX, formed Nourish...

Record hotel room revenue, transient room taxes collected highlight VisitLEX 2019 report

VisitLEX has released its results for 2019 with record hotel room revenue and transient room taxes collected leading the way. “The tourism industry enjoyed a strong 2019,” said Mary Quinn Ramer, president of VisitLEX. “Increases in hotel room revenue spurred by modest growth in Average Daily Rate (ADR) led to an increase in transient room tax.” Here are some highlights from 2019: • Transient...

VisitLEX releases new Beyond Grits dining guide; culinary tours to kick off Aug. 24

VisitLEX has announced the release of the newest edition of its dining guide, Beyond Grits, as well as a new culinary walking tour. The guide features more than 140 establishments in categories such as Date Night, Foodie Approved, and Porches and Patios. “No matter your tastes, occasion or budget, this guide has something for you,” said Mary Quinn Ramer, president of VisitLEX. “It’s a great...

Brewgrass Trail adds seven breweries for Lexington Craft Beer Week; Brewery Passport program altered

In conjunction with Lexington Craft Beer Week, VisitLEX has announced that the Brewgrass Trail has added seven new breweries. The Brewery Passport is also sporting a brand new look including a full-color cover, suggestions for nearby restaurants, and the distance each brewery is from downtown Lexington, allowing participants to plan excursions with ease. There are now 18 breweries on the trail for...

VisitLEX results for 2018 show new location leads to 22 percent increase in Visitors Center attendance

VisitLEX today released its results for 2018, which included a new calculation for direct spending impact on rooms and media impressions that exceeded 1.6 billion across the globe. The direct spending impact calculator more accurately assesses the overall value of hosting meetings, conventions and events. The move to Courthouse Square in June 2018 also led to large double-digit increases in Visitors...

Mary Quinn Ramer: Lexington boosts tourism by leveraging partnerships with signature industries

There are two trends dominating the tourism industry – technology and authenticity. Travelers have an amazing amount of resources at their fingertips when they book their trips, and they want to experience something different. That has worked in Lexington’s favor as people expand their searches beyond the standard tourist stops to immerse themselves in their destinations, complete with genuine...

Lexington’s Historic Courthouse restoration wins Kentucky Heritage Council preservation award

Lexington’s transformation of the Historic Courthouse on Main Street into a modern mixed-use office and event space earned one of the state’s most prestigious statewide historic preservation awards this week. The Historic Courthouse under renovation (file photo) The Kentucky Heritage Council, the state’s historic preservation office, said the rehabilitation of the Courthouse “required innovative...

LexArts Book Benches public art project to celebrate Ky’s literary heritage; call to artists in mid-November

LexArts has announced a new collaboration with Arts Connect and The Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning to present a new public art project in Lexington. Book Benches will invite artists to submit designs based on their illustrative interpretation of a work written by a Kentucky author. A call for artists will be issued in mid-November. Building on the enormous success and community support...

Happy Anniversary: Lexington plans a number of celebrations in honor of Kentucky’s 225th birthday

On June 1, Kentucky will celebrate its 225th anniversary. There are a few celebrations planned for Lexington from May 31 through June 2 to celebrate through food, spirits and entertainment. “With these three events, there is something for people of every age and interest to enjoy and help celebrate Kentucky’s anniversary,” said Mary Quinn Ramer, president of VisitLEX. “They also showcase why...

Travel spending in Fayette County rose to record level of $2 billion in 2016, report says

A new state survey showed that total travel spending in 2016 rose to record levels again in Fayette County. Statewide data was released by the Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet in conjunction with National Tourism Week May 7-13. VisitLEX encourages locals to get out and explore the area each year during National Tourism Week and throughout the entire month of May. For ideas and inspiration,...

VisitLEX honors 34 Hometown Hosts who helped attract over 23,000 visitors to community

VisitLEX recognized 34 people representing 24 meetings/events as Hometown Hosts Tuesday at a luncheon at the Hyatt Regency Lexington. Developed by VisitLEX in 2004, the Hometown Host Program provides support and resources to anyone in Kentucky who can influence and be instrumental in bringing meetings, conventions and events to Lexington. VisitLEX’s goal is to make the planning process easier for...

Lexington tourism builds on record year in 2016, fueled by increased social media exposure

Following a record year in 2015 as a result of hosting the 2015 Breeders’ Cup, Lexington still managed to increase room revenue and tax revenue in 2016. Total room revenue topped $182 million and total tax revenue collected rose to $12.5 million for the year. “Lexington continues to gain momentum as the destination for convention and leisure travel,” said Mary Quinn Ramer, president of VisitLEX....

Proceeds for Horse Country tours, clinics earmarked to benefit Old Friends

When Horse Country, Inc., a membership-based not-for-profit comprising area equine organizations, was officially formed in mid-2014, the vision among founding members was to share the dream inspired by the Thoroughbred – from foaling barn to finish line – by opening the gates of iconic studs and nurseries, world-renowned clinics and more to promote tourism in Kentucky, fandom of Thoroughbred racing...

Buoyed by Breeders’ Cup, Brewgrass Trail, Lexington sees double digit tourism growth

Lexington attracted double-digit growth in tourism in 2015 as a result of the Breeders’ Cup and increases in local food and beverage attractions, according to statistics released Wednesday from VisitLEX, and national media attention also was focused on the community. “We are excited to report that 2015 was a very successful year for Lexington, both locally and nationally,” said Mary Quinn Ramer,...

Head of Lexington Convention and Visitors Bureau resigns after three years at helm

The Commission of the Greater Lexington Convention and Visitors Bureau has accepted the resignation of President Jim Browder, effective immediately. Browder has served as president since June 2011.   As president, Browder championed Lexington as the ideal destination for meetings, conventions, group/motorcoach and leisure tourism business in an effort to generate economic benefit for the city....

With move downtown, Lexington Visitors Center welcomes record number of visitors

The Lexington Visitors Center, located in downtown Lexington inside Victorian Square, welcomed a record 25,000 visitors in 2013. Officials said the proximity of the location to downtown hotels and the Lexington Convention Center, as well as a street level location in a high foot-traffic area contributed to the increase. This record visitation represents a 100 percent increase over the prior year and...

Lexington Convention and Visitors Bureau changing name to VisitLEX, updating logo

The Lexington Convention and Visitors Bureau will change its name to VisitLEX and update its logo beginning Jan. 1, it was announced today.   “We began working with brand experts BLDG over the summer, asking them to assist us with refreshing our logo, our brand, and our name. We are thrilled with their work and are excited to launch our expanded brand identifying Lexington as a peerless...