Oldham County Tourism Director – Kim Buckler

October 29, 2008 by  
Filed under Citizen Spotlight

Kim Buckler - Oldham County Tourism Director

Kim Buckler - Oldham County Tourism Director

1. What do you like most about living in Oldham County?

My absolute favorite thing about living in Oldham County is that it doesn’t matter where I go in the county or when, I know someone – or several. I love the spirit of the people and their willingness to help each other both in business and their neighbor next door. I grew up in Glendale, KY, home of the Whistle Stop Restaurant, and right next door to several Amish families.

After leaving Glendale when I was 18, I moved to Georgetown and then back to Louisville until I was 30. What I missed during those 12 years was the sense of community that I had grown up with. I have rediscovered that living and working in Oldham County.

2. How and why did you end up as the Tourism Director for Oldham County?

Before moving to Oldham County 9 years ago, I managed a marketing company in Louisville for 6 years through which I was a member of the Oldham County Chamber. I had several marketing clients in Oldham County at that time and spent a lot of that time in the county. When I moved to Oldham County, I opened ALLinONE Marketing, Advertising & PR and focused on the Oldham County business community that I absolutely loved! In 2007, Tourism was without a commission and without a Director so I was asked if I would put together a Commission and find a Director for the county, knowing that a Tourism Commission’s responsibility is to be a marketing entity for the county it serves. It took 4 months to interview and form a really good Commission made up of community business owners. At the end of those 4 months, I presented Fiscal Court with a really good slate of Commissioners who cared about what Oldham County had to offer its visitors. It was at that time that I was asked if I would be interested in being the part-time Director. The icing on the cake was not having to give up my own Oldham County business! That was April 2007 and rest is history! I couldn’t be happier!

3. Please tell me more about Oldham County Tourism, and what services it provides to Oldham County residents.

A Tourism Commission’s responsibility is to promote its county to tourists and visitors…to get them to PLAY in Oldham County, quite simply. We can be thought of as an ad agency whose only client is Oldham County as a whole! Specifically, I research the traveling habits of tourists within a 5 state radius of Oldham County and outside a 90-mile radius of LaGrange. I research their likes, dislikes, spending habits, attitudes, ideals, and lifestyles. I then promote Oldham County’s attractions, destinations and events to those travelers through advertising in the right media outlets to reach our target audience such as magazine ads, newspaper ads, TV commercials, group tours, and travel writer coverage. My goal is to entice them to spend the night at our hotels and bed & breakfast, stay as long as possible and spend as much money as they can in Oldham County while they are here.

Oldham County Tourism’s only revenue stream is the 3% hotel tax that the hotels collect from their guests (nearly every hotel in the US has this hotel tax though most times much higher than 3%). If I can entice a traveler to spend the night in Oldham County, I have created a need for them to spend money here in our restaurants, our shops, our attractions, our stores and our gas stations for at least 2 days. In a nutshell, tourism creates economic development for our county’s businesses. We support our businesses by advertising the county to visitors and residents alike.

From an Oldham County resident standpoint, tourism has taken on new meaning this year! With gas prices as high as they are, I really promote shopping and playing in our own backyards. There are so many really neat things to do here, you don’t have to drive more than 10 minutes to feel like you’ve gotten away. When I feel overwhelmed with life in general, one of my favorite places in the county to go is Bluegrass Country Estate Luxury B&B on a 10 acre horse farm in L’Esprit! Talk about feeling like a visitor in your own community! You really do forget you live 15 minutes away!

One of my newest projects for the community is “Treasure Hunting in Oldham County”. I’m calling on Oldham County residents who may be sitting on a hidden gem of their own! Do they have an interesting hobby to share with tourists, do they own a horse or alpaca farm that could be open to tours, do they have a really unique collection for display? I would really love to work with Oldham County residents to further promote what makes our county different and unique. I think there are enough longtime residents in the county that there has to be some great treasures hidden away just waiting to be discovered!

4. What do you hope to see for the future of Oldham County?

I really hope to see well-planned future growth. Many of us moved here for the schools and the lifestyle of Oldham County – the sense of community. I really can’t be in the marketing industry and be against growth in general, however, I would hope to see us manage it well. I just returned from a “visioning” trip to Hanover, VA. One of the things that struck me about that trip was learning that the Richmond area actually hasĀ  commercial zones in their region – specific areas set aside for larger business growth – away from the more residential areas.

I hope to see a compromise in the rural living we love and the convenience of living and working in our community. I love the idea that Oldham County will one day have everything I need to live and conduct my business so as not to have to go to Louisville or beyond to get them. I would also hope to see us as residents utilize our Oldham County businesses more than we do.

I would also love to see us develop more tourism destinations in the county…something to be known for and proud of! I would hope for and love to see us as a community learn once and for all who we are and what we want to be when we grow up – and at least the majority of us be on the same page so we can move forward – smartly!

5. How do you spend your time outside of the office? Hobbies?

Hobbies? What are those? My stress relief is, and has always been, singing. I love to sing country music! Another of my favorite pastimes is trying new restaurants! I love food! I also love to travel – I call myself a Foodie Tourist! When I get to watch TV, I love forensics such as CSI Las Vegas, Bones, The 11th Hour and The Mentalist!

6. Are there any other comments or notes you’d like to share with the readers of Oldham County Wired?

If you have comments or suggestions for me concerning tourism or marketing in general, please feel free to call me or email me any time! I love to hear feedback and I would love to help where I can.

If you as a resident of Oldham County know of anyone who you think has a fascinating hobby or skill or might have something of interest to tourists or visitors, feel free to pass them on to me. I would LOVE to promote new Oldham County hidden treasures! If you haven’t already, check out our new tourism website: www.TourOldhamCounty.com. If you need me for anything, or would like a copy of our new Oldham County Tourism Map, I can be reached at 817-6043 or director@touroldhamcounty.com!

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