LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The Clermont exit off Interstate 65 in Bullitt County is a popular place.
It’s where the Kentucky Bourbon Trail and Bernheim Forest bring visitors to see a slice of the Bluegrass State.
Tuesday, neighbors prepared for a public meeting in hopes of keeping the area of Highway 245 off I-65 from being over-developed. Some neighbors said they have been impressed with the work of Bullitt County Judge Executive Jerry Summers to focus on tourism.
Residents are hoping for sit-down restaurants and nice hotels instead of gas stations and car lots.
“It is a big step; we’ve taken multiple steps to get to this point,” neighbor William Kidd said.
When it comes to new development, neighbors always have concerns like increased traffic. Kidd said that for about five years, many neighbors who live along the corridor of 245 and Chapeze Lane have been staying informed and working toward a goal: To back off from industry.
“Obviously, you don’t want a slaughterhouse or a junkyard across the road from you,” Kidd said, adding that many neighbors want to work to help tourism with The Bourbon Trail’s Jim Beam and Four Roses, Bernheim Forest and Forest Edge Winery.
Forest Edge owner Brance Gould said he would love to see a nice restaurant move in and a hotel that works with the landscape.
“Something that looks like a Great Wolf Lodge without the water park,” Gould explained. “Just a tourist-type hotel, not a cookie-cutter that you throw two more hotels up because we have plenty of those at Brooks and Shepherdsville.”
Gould said he would also like to see road improvements. With some 15,000 cars passing his building every day, Gould said an old promise from state officials was to widen Highway 245 and add turn lanes.
“We need to upgrade the road,” he said.
Summers said those road improvements are still in the state budget plan.