Just as the weather is hitting its high point of the year, we too have gone up a few degrees on activity and actions for the week. July 4th week always seems a difficult week for business to take place. This week feels like the first true “let’s get back at it.”

I must start with the opening of the New Delta Marriott Hotel and The Winchester. For those of you that haven’t been there yet (and I doubt there are many) stop and try it. This is something we have been missing for a long time in downtown Ashland. With over 85-90% occupancy rates for our hotels and no downtown options, this is a milestone event for the community. On top of this is the fact that all the options a full-service hotel offers will help strengthen our downtown and help the business community. Over the last several years when we have had clients visiting for site visits at least half the time we have had to place them in hotels in different states due to lack of availability of rooms. This is a new day for Ashland and our region.

The Alliance also hosted Ben Chandler, President/CEO of the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky this week. Ben has been a friend of the Alliance and the region for a long time. He wanted to stop in and feel what is going on in Northeast Kentucky. More and more people are seeing this region is on the move and has a great deal to offer this state, region, and nation. His group is working to make Kentucky a healthy place to live and raise a family. We had a long conversation about how we can partner with the Foundation and how collectively better decisions, good public policy and a stronger economy will lead to a longer great quality of life for all.

I also had the pleasure to attend Greenup County Fiscal Court meeting and give an update on activity from the Alliance this week as well as meet with Boyd County Judge Executive Eric Chaney along with his Economic Development Director T. J. Morrison. Keeping close working connections with our elected partners is paramount to having the partnerships expected for an organization that is the crossroads of private sector and public.

Finally, we have been busy with our economic development activity. I have had two requests for information inquiries, both of which we provided and made the case this is the place for business and industry. We are also hosting a site visit next week. Your investment is paying dividends and we appreciate you and your business. Thank you for making this a great place to feel the heat and make home.

—Tim Gibbs, Ashland Alliance