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Bourbontown Tours offering personalized experience

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By Kacie Goode

Bardstown’s bourbon industry is booming, and with more visitors anticipated with the arrival of new distilleries, two friends are looking to offer a personalized service they feel is greatly needed.

Shannon Spalding and Ron Freeman have spent the last few weeks promoting Bourbontown Tours, an agency offering private and customizable tours for guests wanting to explore the Bourbon Trail and other offerings in the region.

“This is kind of a bucket list thing for us,” Freeman said of starting the business.

The two have been friends for 20 years, are now retired and both have experience in tourism and travel. Their goal for Bourbontown Tours is to not only expose guests to a “small-town sense of hospitality,” but also to keep tourism dollars local and promote what Bardstown, Louisville and surrounding areas have to offer.

The creation of Bourbontown Tours falls in line with the mission of the Bourbon Capital Community Alliance of encouraging new bourbon-related businesses to come to the area and provide VIP services and personalized experiences for tourists.

A standard full-day tour includes two stops at designated Kentucky Bourbon Trail distilleries, a tasting at a third location and lunch at an area restaurant. Guests also have the option of customizing their tour to include stops at attractions in Bardstown, Louisville and elsewhere, such as museums, points of interest and other venues, catering to different interests and desires. Freeman gave the example that many guests might want to check out a horse farm in the morning, have lunch and then tour a distillery in the Bardstown or Lexington area.

“We will try to tailor the tour to meet the needs of our clients,” he said, adding he wants to enhance the experience for tourists and promote the state. “One of the best things about being in this business is you get to brag about your state and your town. You get excited when you start telling people the story of Kentucky and the story of bourbon or horseracing or whatever it may be.”

As Bardstown continues to grow and develop, Spalding said, Bourbontown Tours is a needed resource, especially during peak season, which starts around this time of year.

“People don’t realize what a small town we truly still are,” she said. When guests come in from a bigger city, they expect to have access to an Uber or a taxi service, but Ubers are limited and during the busy season, the local taxi service can become overwhelmed with customers.

“We are hoping to fill a niche that hasn’t been filled,” by offering the tours, she said.

While the business has a 14-passenger van on hand, it also has access to motorcoaches with the potential to accommodate larger groups for different occasions, such as a wedding party.

More information about Bourbontown Tours, including specialty, customizable and regional tours, pricing and booking information, can be found at www.bourbontowntours.com. Bourbontown Tours can be reached at 1-844-268-7266.