Courier July Courier - Page 31

Hat exhibit at the Kentucky Derby Museum CITY SPOTLIGHT Louisville: Out of the backstretch, taking the lead BY GABE WEBB IN THE EARLY 1830s, French writer Alexis de Tocqueville was bound for Louisville, Kentucky, from Cincinnati, Ohio, when his trip hit a snag. The roads, he wrote, were “abominable,” so he opted for a steamboat down the Ohio River, which got stuck in the icy winter waters. The passengers were sent ashore 25 miles from their destination and left to their own devices. They banded together, and thanks to “the good shoul- der shoves and daring spirit,” of his fellow trav- elers, de Tocqueville made it to Louisville. In the 180 years since then, the roads have definitely improved, and thank goodness, because Louisville is a city worth visiting. When I toured there in late April at the invitation of the Louisville CVB, I found a walkable downtown packed with attractions that represented the old, new and constantly refreshing character of the city. “We have so many iconic attractions to offer within a few blocks, located right downtown on Main Street,” says Saundra Robertson, tourism sales man- ager for the Louisville CVB. For more information, contact Saundra Robertson also pointed out Robertson at srobertson@ the CVB’s many incentives for or visit group tour operators. “The Loving Louisville Muhammad Ali Center Loyalty Club celebrates our customers who have repeatedly brought groups to Louisville either for day or overnight trips.” Incentives include a $500 shopping spree in the Louisville visitors center or $250 cash for operators who consistently book 15 rooms or more. Robertson’s organization also takes steps to make tour groups feel welcome. “We can assist with hotel needs, itineraries, welcome gifts and much more. We have the inside information, so [opera- tors] will be sure they have the best experience bringing a group to our city,” she says. And while I can’t speak to the city’s “good shoulder shoves”—my wagon never got stuck in the snow—there was certainly a bit of that daring spirit. 29