After holding his post for 17 years, David Lord will retire as president of the Lexington Convention and Visitors Bureau (LCVB) in Lexington, Ky., effective March 31, 2011, LCVB announced this month.
Lord is largely credited with helping Lexington blossom as both a leisure and corporate travel destination, having helped develop and expand Blue Grass Airport, the Lexington Center convention complex and two major downtown hotels, the Hyatt and the Radisson (which is now a Hilton). And, of course, the Kentucky Horse Park, which has become the country's top-rated equine competition facility during his LCVB tenure, having hosted the 2010 World Equestrian Games earlier this fall.
"When I first started 17 years ago ... at that time, most of us weren't flying out of Lexington," Lord said, according to local newspaper the Lexington Herald-Leader. "We were going to Louisville or Cincinnati. The convention center was really starting to become an embarrassment ... The Hyatt was in bad shape, the Radisson wasn't marketable and the Horse Park was still considered 'that state facility out there.'"
Lord, 63, will be missed, according to his peers. "I think he's done a terrific job for Lexington," Jim Host, who chaired the World Games 2010 Foundation from 2005 to 2007, told the Herald-Leader. "He's been instrumental in attracting major conventions to the civic center ... He's meant a lot to Lexington and a lot to Kentucky."