Approximately 354,200 people with cell phones visited downtown Harrodsburg in 2023. That’s up 3.1 percent over last year and 8.7 percent over the past two years according to Placer.ai, a location intelligence and foot traffic data software that provides location analytics, including trends, trade areas and visitor demographics, with 92–96 percent accuracy. Last year, the Harrodsburg-Mercer County Tourist Commission purchased a year’s subscription to Placer.ai at a cost of $22,000, which will provide them with up to seven years’ worth of information, not just on Mercer County but on other counties. The subscription began in November.
“Some of this data is pretty incredible,” said Daarik Gray, executive-director of the tourist commission. Gray shared a report with the directors at their last regular meeting of 2023, which was held on Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2023.
The software relies on cell phone data.
“How do they factor in events that are child heavy?” asked board member David Coleman, who is also the manager of Old Fort Harrod State Park. “We have 12,000 school kids, none of them have cell phones.”
The software doesn’t include children. Coleman also pointed out that Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill did not include the entire property, which he noted might also distort attendance numbers.
“Those numbers are going to be greatly skewed,” Coleman.
It was pointed out that adults are the ones who spend money. In 2024, the software will show how much money there is to be spent.
“We’re still diving in on that,” said Gray, who recently went through training on Placer.ai.
Over all, board members seemed happy with the new software and the information it was providing. Gray said he hopes to have people come starting in January to discuss attendance. Gray said they have identified a dozen 12 places they would like to meet with.