The Maysville Conference Center was the inaugural stop for the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games Bus Blitz of Kentucky, Monday.
Promoting 2010 WEG is a combined effort of nine regional tourism agencies and the local travel and tourism locations they represent, officials said.
"The last time there was something of this calibre in the U.S. was at the Olympic Games in Atlanta," said Mike Cooper, Kentucky Travel and Tourism commissioner.
Cooper and the entourage visited MCC and Kentucky Gateway Museum Center on Monday.
One of the miniature displays, representing a Kentucky horse farm library, along with a display from the Rosemary Clooney House Museum in Augusta and a section of fence from Calumet Farm in Lexington will be part of many displays visitors will see, officials said.
"They will even be able to pet a shark," Cooper said, verifying the information with other participants as he introduced a partial list of The Kentucky Experience displays. Each tourism agency and region provided information and materials which are being combined into The Kentucky Experience Pavilion exhibit at WEG, Cooper said.
Predicted to pump $167 million into the Kentucky economy, the games Sept. 25 - Oct 10 are on par with an Olympic equestrian competition, official said.
Tourism in Kentucky has never has a better chance to shine, Cooper said.
"Nationally, NBC has committed to broadcasting six and a half hours of the games live," Cooper said.
That is in addition to millions of viewers in Europe able to view the games on the EBU, Cooper said.
A special price general grounds pass remains on sale through the end of May, Cooper said. The pass allows those, not attending competition venues, into thousands of square feet of open and covered exhibition, arts and crafts, entertainment and dining venues at the Kentucky Horse Park, including The Kentucky Experience Pavilion, officials said.
Those purchasing tickets to an individual equestrian event will also have access to the same areas of the general grounds pass, officials said.
Children under 12-years-old, with a paid adult grounds pass, are free in the grounds pass area, officials said.
Based on early sales of FEI WEG Kentucky merchandise, organizers are hopeful the equestrian extravaganza will be a big hit with visitors and entice them to return to Kentucky for more vacation travels, officials said.
More merchandising items for 2010 WEG, have already been sold than in all the previous WEG combined, FEI WEG Kentucky Ambassador Ted Kuster told visitors at MCC.
There is more to do and see at WEG than just watch the eight equestrian competitions.
Officials plan to have a lot of entertainment, and fun for visitors from all 60 nations around the world represented at the games, officials said.
"Once we get them here we are going to show them the best they have ever seen," Kuster said.
International economic issues have lowered attendance predictions from a million visitors predicted when the games were first presented to Kentucky, to about 250,000.
Events and general admission areas are massive compared to other WEG events.
Only the 100-mile endurance event will take riders outside the 1,223 acres of the Kentucky Horse Park. The 2006 WEG in Germany were held at a 42-acre location, which could fit into part of a parking lot at KHP, officials said.
Ticket sales are continuing to climb despite rumors of a sold out event; only the dressage final has sold out so far, officials said.
The opening ceremony, and eventing competitions, are also traditionally popular tickets, officials said.
After leaving Maysville, the group planned to travel to 14 other cities in Kentucky over the next few days, promoting the games.
Contact Wendy Mitchell at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 606-564-9091, ext. 276.
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