OLIVE HILL, Ky. — Greenbo Lake Resort State Park in Greenup County is among the five Kentucky State Park resorts that will receive an estimated $3.13 million in safety and aesthetic improvements over the next two years, according to officials from the Kentucky Tourism Arts Cabinet (KTAC).
Officials announced that upgrades would be performed at Natural Bridge, Carter Caves, Greenbo, General Butler and Blue Licks Battlefield State Parks under the ‘Refreshing the Finest’ campaign. The funding comes from $18 million approved this year by Gov. Matt Bevin and the General Assembly, according to KTAC officials. The improvements include structural repairs, painting and interior and exterior upgrades. The work for the Refreshing the Finest campaign will be carried out during 2016 and 2017.
Don Parkison, KTAHC secretary, said funding said the park system is vital part of Kentucky’s tourism economy.
“Our park system is an important part of our state’s tourism economy with an annual economic impact of $889 million,” Parkinson said. “This funding means that these parks receive these much needed upgrades.”
Examples of the planned upgrades include painting the lodge and cottages at Carter Caves State Resort Park, structural repairs at the lodge at Greenbo Lake State Resort Park; roof and sidewalk repairs at Natural Bridge State Resort Park, lodge and conference center painting and electrical repairs at General Butler State Resort Park; and repairs at the Pioneer Museum at Blue Licks Battlefield State Resort Park.
Stephanie Poplin, manager of Greenbo Lake State Resort Park, said the announcement regarding the funding fuels their hope and plans to complete much needed work at Greenbo.
“Of course we are glad to be getting anything that we can,” Poplin said. “We still have the roof issue and the trusses that were discovered that still has to be repaired, and that money will be used to make that repair. It is a safety issue.”
Poplin said they anticipate some time after January 2017 for the completion of work at Greenbo State Resort Park.
“We are looking at possibly some time after the first of the year because, we have to go through the bid process yet, for the contractors, and the hiring of contractors to do that work,” Poplin said. “Then of course there is some preparation that has to be done before the trusses can be removed, like the duct work in that area, and the electrical work in that area. as well as fire protection system runs through that location. That all has to be removed, and the new trusses put in, so it will be a little bit of a process that will run through the fall.”
Parks Commissioner Donnie Holland said much of the work that’s currently underway is being carried out by Kentucky State Park crews. Other projects at the 17 resort parks will have to be put out for bid.
“The Kentucky State Parks are glad to have this funding to start addressing some of the needs at our state parks,” Holland said. “It doesn’t cover all of our needs, but it’s a start.”
A portion of the painting has already been completed at Carter Caves. Other work has been started at Lake Cumberland, Pennyrile Forest and Rough River Dam state resort parks.
Parkinson and Holland announced details of some of the projects at the five parks during an appearance at Carter Caves State Resort Park in Olive Hill.
For more information about Kentucky State Parks, visit www.parks.ky.gov
Reach Portia Williams at 740-353-3101, ext. 1929, or on Twitter @PortiaWillPDT.