Corbin Tourism Director Maggy Kriebel was the guest speaker at a recent Corbin Rotary Club meeting where she discussed the planned opening of the new Corbin splash pad, the effort to bring more businesses downtown, and plans for 2021.
Kriebel said downtown Corbin, which has seen a rebirth in recent years, now has 60 to 70 percent of the retail space currently occupied.
The downtown area is defined as South Main Street beginning at 18th Street and continuing onto Master Street, and Kentucky Street.
Kriebel said there are currently 111 businesses in the downtown area, including restaurants, services, retail, and professional.
“We are restaurant heavy,” Kriebel said. “We need retail and entertainment to keep people downtown after they eat.”
Downtown recently added two new businesses. Barrel Beauty Bar opened in the 200 block of South Main Street. While Southern Glitz Boutique moved from Master Street to Main Street.
“They may be changing their name,” Kriebel said of Southern Glitz.
However, Kriebel said downtown recently suffered its first business loss because of COVID 19, when Awake Yoga announced it was closing its door.
“With no real end to the pandemic in sight, and being unable to have a full complement of students return to the space or make use of the video conferencing option, income has not been able to keep up with expenses,” the owners announced on the studio’s Facebook page noting the last classes will be held Sept. 15, 16, and 17.
Kriebel said the Downtown Merchants Association is once again holding monthly meetings, which the first one held in August, and the next one planned for Sept. 21.
Among the items the association has been discussing are logo development, social media hashtags for downtown, and making rack cards specifically for downtown that would include shopping, dining and entertainment locations.
The rack cards would be available in the downtown businesses, tourism office, and local hotels.
“You could pick it up and find out what is going on downtown,” Kriebel explained.
As to the hashtags, Kriebel explained that a successful hashtagging plays a big part in spreading the word about a location.
“That is part of branding,” Kriebel said.
In an effort to funnel more people from the interstate exits and U.S. 25E to downtown, Kriebel said the wayfinding signage is scheduled to be installed within the next week.
The 14 signs ar 7–and–a-half-feet by 5-and-a-half feet, and will direct motorists to downtown.
Kriebel said the fencing along the back of the brick wall behind L&N 2132 and the concrete work that is replacing the asphalt that surrounded the steam locomotive are scheduled to be completed in the next several weeks.
The public art project to transform old electrical wire spools into tables at the tourism lot on North Main Street has been completed.
The tables have been placed around the area.
“They are really fun and pretty,” Kriebel said offering her thanks to the Cumberland Arts Collective, Cumberland Valley Rural Electric, and WD Bryant for making the project happen.
Kriebel said lighting has been installed so that the area may be used after dark.
In addition to the giant Chess set, Kriebel said several people have been seen bringing cornhole boards to the area to play.
Kriebel said while most of the events in the city and the region have been cancelled because of COVID–19, the inaugural Colonel Sanders Half Marathon will take place as scheduled on Nov. 14.
The 13.1–mile race will start on Depot Street and wind through the city before coming back to finish on Depot Street.
From Depot Street, the route will go onto Roy Kidd Ave., South Laurel Ave., East Barbourville Street, North Wilson Ave., Hamlin Ave., Roy Kidd Ave., Barbourville Road, South Commonwealth Ave, Ky. 1629, Park Hill Road, Carter Street, Engineer Street, the creek walk, East Barbourville Street, South Laurel Ave. Roy Kidd Ave, Lynn Street, East Fourth Street, West Fifth Street, Woodland Acres, West Fifth Street, South Kentucky Ave., Main Street, West 19th Street, Snyder Street, West Adkins Street, Roosevelt Street, West 20th Street, Early Street, 21st Street, South Kentucky Ave, West 23rd Street, Main Street, East Seventh Street, and then onto Depot Street to reach the finish line.
“This will be a closed course,” Kriebel said noting that Corbin Police have insisted on it as a safety measure.
In addition to the race, there will be a Colonel Sanders Look-Alike Contest with $100 being awarded for first prize.
More information about the half marathon is available on the Colonel Sanders Half Marathon Facebook page, or the Corbin Tourism and Convention Commission Facebook page.