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Lexington Tourism Head Resigns, Search For Replacement Underway

The Lexington Convention and Visitors Bureau is staying quiet on the resignation of its president, Jim Browder.

The tourism chief resigned immediately following a closed-door meeting of the bureau’s board on Wednesday.

Browder had only taken over the reigns of the bureau in June 2011 – yet another reason the sudden departure came as a surprise. Board chairman Ron Tritschler did not respond to a request for comment in time for broadcast, but the bureau says a search for a replacement is already underway.

Business Lexington editor-in-chief Erik Carlson recently sat down with Browder for an interview about his vision for Visit Lex. He says while there was no indication Browder planned to leave his post, a number of issues could have contributed to his departure.

Lexington’s new Visitor’s Center has enjoyed record visitor numbers in its location at The Square, but landlords for the property have expressed interest in relocating the center.

"The commission and Mr. Browder had said they would prefer to go ahead and stay through the term of their lease, which was for another three years at that spot. That had been a bone of contention among some in the city and whether or not that led to this, I don't know," he says. 

Browder also had concerns about the effect the proposed Rupp Arena renovation might have on the Convention Center.  

As president, Browder also oversaw the renaming of the organization. The bureau now goes by “Visit Lex.”

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.