In 2016, nine companies invested more than $233 million in projects in Nelson County, a record for one year. The infusion and effusion earned Bardstown a No. 7 ranking among U.S. communities in economic development by Site Selection magazine. Known as the Bourbon Capital of the World, Bardstown saw investments made in its bourbon distilleries, including Heaven Hill and Sazerac’s Barton 1792 distilleries, along with new companies such as Legend Lumber Lee, Luxco and Thai Summit.
Companies are attracted to Nelson County for its three industrial parks and for economic and community reasons. Bourbon is one of the common threads. The Kentucky Bourbon Festival began in 1992 as a simple tasting and dinner, and has grown to a weeklong annual event for 53,000 attendees.
Bardstown is the second oldest town in Kentucky. Founded in 1780, it is six years younger than Harrodsburg. Nelson County was part of Virginia when it was formed in 1784 and was named after Thomas Nelson Jr., governor of Virginia and one of the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence.
County Seat: Bardstown
Dick Heaton, Mayor
Estimated 2017 population:
No. of households:
Median household income:
Bardstown/Nelson County Chamber of Commerce:
Samantha Brady, executive director
Nelson County Economic Development Agency:
Kim Huston, president
Judge-Executive: Dean Watts
Bardstown-Nelson County Tourist
& Convention Commission: