When is a boat show not a boat show?
This is less of a philosophical question and more of an invitation to visit some of the region’s top tourist businesses this weekend.
The No Boat Show Boat Show, as it’s called, will launch on March 26-27. It is a way to promote many entities that thrive on the lifeblood of Cumberland Lake tourism, even though the normal channels to do so are not available in the time of COVID.
“It all started because the boat shows that we usually go to under one roof – in Cincinnati, Louisville, Indianapolis, Nashville – all of those boat shows were canceled,” said Michelle Allen, executive director of the Somerset-Pulaski County Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Dealers, tourist boards, and vendors usually attend these boat shows, but this year they haven’t been able to stand in front of all those people who go to the boat shows to find out about (the opportunities local). ”
Allen found herself in a conversation about this dilemma with Kyle Damron of Wake Cumberland Watersports, and that’s where the idea for the “No Boat Show Boat Show” was born: instead of getting a lot of people together in one place like Usually boat shows do, why not find a way to get people into actual local businesses as some sort of event in and of itself? Allow people to shop for products or boating on the lake to learn directly from the vendors who do it all right in their office or showroom
So, it’s kind of like having a boat show – without the actual full-scale boat show.
Participating companies and suppliers will organize “open house” type events on their property. These can include specials and discounts, as well as entertainment like music and food trucks.
And it is better to spread your visits. Make a stop, get a passport card, then gain access to four or more companies. This makes you eligible to put your name in a design for a variety of fabulous prizes – a houseboat vacation from State Dock to Jamestown, a TriToon rental from Safe Harbor Jamestown or one from Safe Harbor Burnside, or a pontoon rental from Marina. Rowena in Albany.
To enter, bring your stamped passport to the Cumberland Lake Tourism Office at 522 Ogden Street, Somerset. Place it in the black box next to the front door by 7 p.m. on Saturday, March 27. The winners will be drawn on Tuesday March 30 on Facebook Live.
Participating places to visit include:
• Wake Cumberland Water Sports, 346 Parkers Mill Road, Somerset;
• Cumberland Marine Lake, 105 Collins Avenue, Somerset;
• Coast to Coast Marine, 116 Ben Way Drive, Somerset;
• Lookout Marine; 6590 United States 27, Somerset;
• Hilltop Marine, 74 Shaw Lane, Bronston;
• C and P Marine, 2988 Ky. 90, Bronston;
• All Boats Marine, 2100 West Ky. 90, Bronston;
• Idle Time Marine, 1438 Ky. 90, Bronston;
• Finish Line Marine, 5907 Ky. 76, Russell Springs;
• Unlimited Marine, 2624 US 127, Russell Springs;
• BVI Marine (Find them on Facebook);
• Xtreme Audio, 24 Rowena Drive, Somerset;
• Conley Bottom Resort, 270 Conley Bottom Road, Monticello;
• Lee’s Ford Marina, 451 Lee’s Ford Dock Road, Nancy;
• Turner Reality Group, 44 Office Park Dr Suite 1, Somerset;
• Sick Speed Marine Electronics, 116 Ben Way Drive, Suite B, Somerset.
Visit www.lctourism.com for more information on participating companies and the No Boat Show Boat Show.
The event lasts from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. this Friday and Saturday.
Allen said she has received a positive reaction from the dealers and sellers involved. “They have been very generous with their time and are thrilled with the new opportunity to show what they have.”
With the good weather and other things happening in Pulaski this weekend, especially the #seemyset Art Market on Saturday at Suits-Us Farm, located at 4291 Ky. 80, Allen is hoping for a strong turnout – and she thinks that this will prepare people for even better numbers on the lake this tourist season.
“I think we’re going to have a record summer on Cumberland Lake,” Allen said. “I think people want to do more outdoor recreation, so they will come to us. They want to see what we have to offer so that they can enjoy the lake or the outdoors.