Deadline for submitting proposals is Feb. 3, 2015
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Nov. 26, 2014) – The Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet has issued a request for proposal (RFP) seeking a developer-operator for a lodging facility at General Burnside Island State Park in Pulaski County.
“We’re optimistic a developer could make this a major attraction in the Lake Cumberland region,” Gov. Steve Beshear said. “This is the type of public-private partnership we need as we work with Shaping Our Appalachian Region (SOAR) to bring about more economic development in Eastern Kentucky.”
“Burnside Island has been a historic recreational spot on Lake Cumberland that many families have enjoyed for generations and this project will see that some much needed upgrades will be made to this beautiful location,” added U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers. “The project will create more tourism opportunities, along with infrastructure enhancements to support the growing needs at the park.”
There have been previous efforts to seek a privately built lodge at the park. This latest request seeks proposals for a privately operated lodging facility. The builder and operator would have the option of including a restaurant, convention facility and swimming pool.
The project could be eligible for state tourism incentives through the state Tourism Development Finance Authority. The incentive is a tax rebate of up to 50 percent of the investment amount over a 10-year period.
Included in the RFP, issued by the Finance and Administration Cabinet on behalf of the tourism agency, is a feasibility study conducted by the South Kentucky RECC. It notes recent improvements such as a new sewer system, better road access and the approval of alcohol sales in Burnside.
“We believe the conditions are right for a developer to build a lodge that would be a great addition for tourists who visit the Lake Cumberland area,” Parks Commissioner Elaine Walker said.
The state park currently has an 18-hole golf course designed by Brian Ault; management of that course could be a part of the project but is not a requirement of the successful bidder.The park also has a campground and boat ramp. The property would remain part of the Kentucky State Park system.
“I have always envisioned General Burnside Island being developed into a world-class resort destination,” said Sen. Chris Girdler, of Somerset. “There’s no other place in America where you can find a 430-acre island on a 1,000-mile shoreline that has two wild rivers; one national and two state parks; a Civil War battlefield; eight world-class marinas and nine golf courses. With both natural beauty and historical significance, this area currently attracts over 4 million visitors a year and now has the opportunity for additional tourism potential.”
In 2013, Girdler sponsored a bill that reclassified Burnside to a fourth-class city in hopes that it would be a catalyst for development. He commended Tourism, Arts and Heritage Secretary Bob Stewart and Walker “for their vision to propose new and innovative ways to partner with the private sector to accomplish a common goal of promoting regional tourism and economic development projects that will create jobs and enhance the quality of life of Kentuckians.”
The details of the request can be found at: http://finance.ky.gov/services/eprocurement/pages/default.aspx The deadline for submitting proposals is 3 p.m. Eastern time on Feb. 3, 2015.