The second installment of our photo blog series features Larry Epling, a long time photographer and supporter of local tourism here in Eastern Kentucky. Epling has volunteered his photography skills and many hours to Pike County Tourism CVB over the past several years, capturing not only special events such as Hillbilly Days and Hatfield and McCoy Heritage Days, but also Pike County’s natural beauty. Many of the photos featured in our tourist material are courtesy of Epling.
Check out Epling’s gallery below, and feel free to reach out to him for not only photography services, but drone photography as well.
Larry Epling Gallery
Larry Epling – Appalachian Artist
Epling is open for photography commissions, as well as drone photography. Take a look.
Licensed Drone Operator Subjects: Aerial Photography, Nature, Architecture, Scenics, Culture, Tourism Website:Click here E-mail:Click here Phone: 606 653-2005 Instagram:Click here
Discover Kentucky through the eyes of people sharing what they love about the Bluegrass State
Pike County Tourism CVB board member and Hatfield descendant Bob Scott, along with his wife Rita, is featured on Kentucky’s 2019 Official Visitors Guide. Scott, one of the many Kentucky storytellers featured in the magazine, showcases Pike County’s unique offerings, focusing on the world’s most famous feud. Below is the official press release from the Kentucky department of Travel and Tourism.
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Jan. 9, 2019) – The Kentucky Department of Tourism announced the release of the 2019 Official Kentucky Visitor’s Guide and the Year of Kentucky Storytellers. The guide features travel tips and stories, narrated by Kentuckians, who share their love for the Bluegrass State through their own personal experiences. In addition to regional highlights, the visitor’s guide focuses on the main pillars of Kentucky tourism: bourbon, food, horses, outdoors, history, music, arts and events.
“Travelers always have a desire to go where the locals recommend and the 2019 guide provides visitors with those insider tips to help plan the perfect Kentucky trip,” Kristen Branscum, Commissioner of the Department of Tourism said. “The local storytellers provide engaging accounts of their own Kentucky experiences, while also highlighting specific activities and places to see while you’re traveling in state.”
This year, the visitor’s guide features each of the nine tourism regions across the state and what makes them unique along with information on attractions, lodging and all the great cities you can visit in a particular region. If it’s a bucket list you are after – this visitor’s guide will help you create one of your own by providing ideas on what to visit while you are here.
The guide is available in its printed version at the state’s seven staffed welcome centers and the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea. Guides can be requested online at kentuckytourism.com or by calling (800) 225-8747. An online version of the guide is also available at kentuckytourism.com.
Hatfield McCoy Gallery
The Kentucky Department of Tourism is an agency within the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet, which promotes the Commonwealth as a travel destination. In 2017, Tourism in Kentucky generated an economic impact of more than $15 billion. The Tourism industry supports over 195,000 jobs and generates more than $1.5 billion in taxes.
Breaks Interstate Park provided an $9.95 million economic impact across southeast Kentucky and southwest Virginia in 2015, according to a Virginia State Park system study. The park recorded 357,993 day-use and overnight visitors last year, and posted the fourth greatest economic impact among state parks in Virginia.
“Our local economy has been gravely impacted by the downturn of the coal market. In response, we are seeking new and innovative ways to reposition our area as a tourism destination and it is encouraging to see that those efforts are bearing fruit,” said Superintendent Austin Bradley.
The economic impact study takes into account not only the park’s revenue, but the direct and indirect impact of tourism dollars generated by the park into the surrounding localities. That includes money visitors spend on items such as food, gas, and supplies while traveling.
Breaks Park continues to be a viable and integral contributor to the local economy, said Bradley. He added that as one of the few recreational parks in the coalfields, Breaks Park also offers vital outdoor facilities to the region, and helps to foster an active, healthy lifestyle during a time when obesity rates and other health related problems are on the rise.
Breaks Interstate Park is located on the Kentucky – Virginia border and is accessed by State Route 80. Commissioned by the U.S. Congress in 1954, it encompasses more than 4,600 acres is one of only two interstate parks in the United States. For more information about the park, please visit www.BreaksPark.com.