Tribune-Courier News Reporter
The Marshall County Tourism Commission announced plans to change its name to Kentucky Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau.
The name change is a result of the rebranding study launched in February to enhance tourism and recruitment of business and industry to the area.
“Kentucky Lake is a major part of our brand – it has to be,” said Randy Newcomb, director of the tourism commission, in remarks before Marshall County Fiscal Court.
Results of initial rebranding surveys are coming in. Newcomb said one key piece of information that was made clear is that the phrase Marshall County is synonymous with Kentucky Lake.
“We’ve all known that Kentucky Lake was a part of who we are, but we never knew how to use that information,” he said. “We never realized how engrained it was into our identity.”
Three separate surveys were sent out with more than 1,500 responses.
“These surveys were sent to people outside of our area, as well as people from communities throughout Marshall County and the overwhelming majority linked Marshall County to Kentucky Lake.”
Newcomb said Chandlerthinks, the Nashville marketing company handling Marshall County’s research process, has recommended several county agencies incorporate the words Kentucky Lake into their business names.
“We’re hoping that some other agencies like economic development and maybe the chamber of commerce will as well,” Newcomb said.
Debbie Buchanan, executive administrator of the Marshall County Chamber of Commerce, said if the rebranding study proves a change of name would bring in more business it would be something the chamber might consider.
“The board would definitely weigh the pros and cons of it because we could be expanding ourselves to other businesses on the lake – by referring to ourselves as more regional,” she said.
“But at the same time we may lose ourselves as representing only Marshall County. It’ll definitely be a process that will take a lot of discussion and research.”
Buchanan said she understands the tourism board’s decision to change its name to attract more tourists, but the chamber board has Marshall County clients to consider.
“I know it’ll be a great change for the tourism office,” she said. “Just by changing their name they have the potential to draw in more tourists. But our chamber board will want to more carefully weigh our options.”
Newcomb acknowledged there might be hesitation by some agencies to change their names.
“To show cohesiveness I think it would be beneficial if several Marshall County entities could be under the same name, but it is up to those other agencies,” he said.
“This data provides us with options. What we use it for is entirely up to us. Hopefully we can use it to construct the appropriate message of who and what we are.”
Newcomb said the name change will require fiscal court to pass an ordinance, which would go into effect on its second reading.
“These are the first steps in a journey of steps to rebranding Marshall County and making it the most attractive it can be to tourists,” he said.
In other business, commissioners heard a proposal from Diane Higdon, a consultant for ADS Security, to upgrade the courthouse’s electronic security system.
The old system, installed in 1995, has signaled false alarms when the courthouse is closed.
Higdon said some of the wiring has gone bad, but the new system she is proposing would be wireless.
“Our company would come in and replace your panels and keypads so that they would be wireless,” she said. “We would leave the wiring, but it wouldn’t be operational unless the wireless was down like in an emergency situation.”
She said with the new system administrators could control lights, heats, locks and other functions from remote locations or from within the courthouse.
The initial cost of equipment and installation would be around $398 and the monthly cost would be around $48, or $576 per year.
County treasurer Emily Martin said the current Alert Alarm Systems costs $300 annually, or $25 per month.
“We had a few problems for one week, but once the wiring was fixed we haven’t had a problem since then,” she said.
“The main differences between our two systems is that ADS is wireless and has remote capabilities, which would be convenient. The downside is the cost.”
Martin said the fiscal court will decide in time for the next fiscal court meeting.