By Charlotte Underwood 

LAFOLLETTE, TN (WLAF) – Postmark LaFollette along with the Cumberland Gap Region Association had representatives at Tuesday’s South Campbell County Rotary Luncheon on Tuesday. 

Postmark LaFollette co-founder Karen Cumorich spoke briefly about art and tourism in Campbell County. She touched base on the need to create art and culture based activities to draw tourism into the community and help area businesses thrive.  

Karen Cumorich with Postmark LaFollette spoke briefly about tourism at Tuesday’s South Campbell County Rotary Club luncheon on Tuesday.

“We as a community can work together to increase tourism by utilizing the arts and combining it with tourism,” Cumorich said. 

She introduced Cumberland Gap Region Tourism Association Director Carl Nichols, who helped begin the Association six years ago. Nichols addressed Rotarians about the mission of the Association, how and why it all began and what opportunities membership provides. 

Accordingto Nichols, the mission of the Cumberland Gap Region Tourism Association is “to promote tourism within the ten counties of the Cumberland Gap Region and to serve as a clearinghouse for training and development of tourism programs and events in the ten counties located within a 25 mile radius of Cumberland Gap. The Cumberland Gap Region encompasses parts of three states. Yet, we are all one people with a common goal to encourage, build, and maintain a better economy for the Cumberland Gap Region through the promotion of community and tourism development.”

“The Association was started in 2016, because we needed an organization where the counties could work together to pull tourism into the region,” Nichols said. 

He spoke about the tourism opportunities and the economic impacts activities and events have on communities such as the “success stories” of Pennington Gap, VA and Pineville, KY. 

Cumberland Gap Region Tourism Association Director Carl Nichols guest spoke at the South Campbell County Rotary Club luncheon on Tuesday .

“Storefronts were empty and the economy was bad, but they hired a city manager who helped bring the town of Pennington Gap from the brink to one of the most entertaining towns around,” Nichols said describing music events and community activities.

His parting message was “events bring tourists and tourists bring in dollars to small businesses.”

“No, County can do it alone. It takes different communities pulling together to get behind tourism efforts and get people in your businesses,” Nichols said. 

He said the Association is designed to be a sharing of ideas and a collaboration among the ten counties. 

“We’re changing tourism in this region. Get involved in your county, get involved in your activities and let’s bring tourists from all over the country to the Cumberland Gap Region,” Nichols said in closing. 

The Cumberland Gap Region Tourism Association is a 501 (C6) non profit. For more information about the Association or about becoming a member or sponsor, visit or email (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 07/20/2022-6AM)