"We are eager to celebrate 137 years of freedom with the great people of Louisville," said NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre. "I would like to thank Governor Fletcher and the Greater Louisville Convention and Visitor`s Bureau for their gracious invitation for NRA to host our 2008 Annual Meetings in Louisville. They played a pivotal role throughout our decision-making process by highlighting the numerous benefits and charm of this exceptional city."
Kentucky Governor Ernie Fletcher in welcoming the NRA remarked, "I want to express my personal appreciation for the National Rifle Association, its membership and its mission. As a Republican Governor, a proponent of Second Amendment rights and a sportsman myself, I applaud your efforts to promote firearm safety and training, wildlife conservation and the constitutional rights of millions of law-abiding Americans."
Over 100 daily flights into the Louisville International Airport make the city easily accessible for NRA`s four million members. And, Louisville is only a one-day drive for half of all Americans. Over 60,000 people attended and millions of dollars were spent during the 2004 NRA Annual Meetings in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
"With 500,628 NRA members within three-hundred miles of Louisville, our 2008 Annual Meetings and Exhibits promise to be an exciting event for the community and have a huge impact on the local economy," said Edward J. Land, NRA`s secretary. "We look forward to an exciting event for gun owners and sporting enthusiasts and a successful meeting for the Association."
"We are so pleased to have edged out such a fine group of competitors for the 2008 NRA Convention, which represents $2.8 million in economic impact to our community," said Jim Wood, President and CEO of the Greater Louisville Convention and Visitor`s Bureau. "Louisville is a city on the move with more than $658 million of new tourism development, and we hope this city-wide convention is one of many we will land this year."
This will be the first time Louisville has hosted NRA`s Annual Meetings & Exhibits. The city was chosen from a long list of possible locations due to its proximity to numerous NRA members and suitable convention facilities. (more)
"The expansion of class ‘A` exhibit space at the Kentucky Exposition Center was a vital component in securing a convention of this size and scope. With first-class meeting and trade show space, along with a much-improved hotel package, this community is set to attract top tier convention business," added Harold Workman, President & CEO of the Kentucky State Fair Board, which operates the Kentucky Fair & Exposition Center.
The NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits are traditionally recognized as the premier public showcase for the $20 billion shooting sports industry. Hundreds of exhibits will be on display catering to the interests of America`s 90 million gun owners and 20 million hunters, as well as millions of additional competitive shooters, instructors, collectors and outdoor enthusiasts.
The 133-year-old National Rifle Association is the nation`s oldest civil rights group, and advocates enforcement of existing laws to prosecute and punish violent criminals. NRA is the leader in teaching gun safety and promoting marksmanship. The Association has approximately four million members across America.