One of the primary tourism assets in Breathitt County is Panbowl Lake which was formed when the Department of Transportation cut off a section of the Kentucky River to build Highway 15.  The lake gets its name from the unique shape it forms and is used primarily for recreational boating, fishing and picnicking. Along Pan Bowl Road which encircles the lake is a public boat ramp and picnic area and a bait/taxidermy shop.  In between the two is a “recycling” center, a business located on both sides of the road, often spilling into the road itself as well as blocking vehicles from traveling a public road.  The site has become an eyesore as well as creating both traffic issues and safety concerns.  

Photos were taken and information compiled and shared with state agencies to see what legal right the community might have on the issue. Both the district and the state Departments of Transportation have been notified as has the Breathitt County Fiscal Court, mayor’s office, Lt. Governor’s office, and numerous other state offices.  

On July 2nd a representative with the Kentucky Cabinet of Tourism, Arts and Heritage toured Breathitt County with a member of the Breathitt County Action Team and the consultant with WMTH Corporation.  Ideas, recommendations and concerns were shared. In August, a petition was developed to determine community support for taking action. Over 1000 citizens have signed the petition requesting the facility either be moved or shutdown. 

It is the intent of the bait/taxidermy shop to eventually add a boat dock and rent paddle boats. There is also some discussion of opening a canoe livery service and making the road around Panbowl Lake a part of the motorcycle Venom Trails and eventually establish it as a scenic byway.    But all tourism development around Panbowl Lake is on hold until the current situation is addressed.   

ACTION: Continue efforts to either shutdown or move “Recycling Center” to another location.  

WMTH Corporation, PO Box 51153, Bowling Green, KY 42102 (270) 792-5300