Corbin Tourism discusses the Fourth of July outcome, social media influencers, and new business openings

Corbin Tourism saw an over $100,000 increase in net income from 2019 to 2022.

The Corbin Tourist and Convention Commission reviewed the financial report in its special called meeting on Monday, July 25, at the L&N Railroad Depot.

Tourism’s net income for 2022, as reported by Accountant Bryan Gray, is $273,278.

“In 2019, Pre-COVID, we were at $145,900 in our net income,” said Gray.

“That’s a huge increase!” said Tourism Director Maggy Monhollen. “Prior to the meeting, I asked Bryan to put together a comparison of 2019 and 2022 because at this time, we’re looking at recovery.” She added, “Compared to Pre-COVID to after COVID…that’s awesome! If we’re doing better in 2022 then that’s a success!”

The commission also discussed the outcome of this year's July 4 celebration.

“So, the actual event itself was fairly successful,” said Monhollen. “We had about 1,000 in attendance for the band and vendors at the Arena. The show went smooth.”

However, Monhollen admitted that the firework show was “a bust.”

“We specifically discussed, in our contract with Pyro Shows, a 20-25 minute show. The show was 12 minutes and 20 seconds, and it didn’t have a grand finale, that I saw,” said Monhollen.

Monhollen explained she secured drone footage of the show and sent it to Pyro Shows to correct the situation.

“I had the conversation: ‘the show didn’t meet our expectations’ and ‘it wasn’t what we had discussed’ so we’re working on a deal to correct the situation,” said Monhollen. “Whether we pay the same price next year from this year instead of an increase in cost - that’s probably what’s going to happen, so we are making it right!” concluded Monhollen.

In other business, Monhollen announced upcoming tourist conferences coming to the Corbin Arena this year.

  • The Kentucky Firefighters Association will be held on August 3-6.
  • SOAR Healthcare Symposium will take place on September 8,9.
  • Kentucky Recreation and Parks Conference will be held on November 2-4.

Next, Monhollen addressed business closures on Main Street and new businesses coming to downtown Corbin.


  • Owned by Wesley Browne, Apollo Pizza will be located on the corner of Second Street and Main Street in Corbin.

“I think they’re taking their time and they have a certain look they’re going for and they don’t want to rush it,” said Monhollen about Apollo Pizza. “It’s coming! It’s just a matter of when.”

Monhollen also mentioned to the Tourism Commission that she proposed an ordinance for an Entertainment Destination Center to the City Commission.

“The city attorney and I are working on a formal ordinance to present to the Commission for further approval,” said Monhollen.

If passed, this ordinance would allow patrons at participating restaurants and bars to leave the premise with an alcoholic beverage in a specially marked cup throughout certain common areas downtown during city events.

“There will be specially marked cups, barricades, security plan to ensure safety…the whole nine yards,” said Monhollen. “At the end of the day, this will keep local businesses alive and thriving and draws tourists downtown.”

The ordinance is expected to be ready by next week and then presented to the City Commission at their next meeting.


  • Travis’s Café – closed
  • Bree's on Main – closed but expected to reopen
  • Everaston - moved to the city of London

Next, Monhollen gave a presentation about REACH Influencers Marketing, a social media platform that connects small businesses to influencers.

“After doing some research, I wanted to approach you all about REACH influencers," said Monhollen. “This is a small business that is Kentucky based and their specialty is micro-influencers. These are people that focus specifically on small business.”

Monhollen said she set up a ZOOM meeting with the owner to discuss details about using their service.

“It’s $100 per month,” said Monhollen. “We provide the content and micro-influencers upload it to their social media platforms.”

The Tourism Commission unanimously voted to try the REACH Influencer Marketing for $100 per month.

Lastly, Monhollen discussed the effects of inflation on travel and eating local.

“I try to stay on top of the statistics from the Kentucky Department of Tourism, which gave an idea from a region standpoint about occupancy.”

In 2021, Monhollen said, the occupancy rate was 40.7 percent, while in 2022, the occupancy rate was 51.8 percent.

“Why people are traveling…seeing friends and family and seeing the outdoors…59 percent of travelers traveled less than 100 miles to their destination, but 25 percent of those travelers came to Kentucky,” explained Monhollen.

According to the U.S. Travel Association, 47.9 million Americans took a road trip [of 50 miles or more] over the Fourth of July weekend.

"That's more than ever!" said Monhollen. Despite several flight cancellations or increased gas prices, Americans still traveled in large numbers.

Samantha Walden, Staff Writer at the Kentucky Daily

Photo by The Corbin Tourist and Convention Commission

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