LEXINGTON, Kentucky – Recent UFO revelations and advances in deep space imaging have fueled the belief that we are not alone in the universe. Seizing the moment, VisitLEX, the Lexington Convention and Visitors Bureau, created an advertising campaign that goes beyond the usual travel markets. Way beyond. 

Using an infrared laser, VisitLEX and a team of scientists and scholars from Lexington beamed a message toward potentially habitable planets in the TRAPPIST-1 solar system 40 light years away. The message, which was sent from the Kentucky Horse Park, is intended to invite extraterrestrial travelers to Lexington.

"We believe Lexington is the best place on Earth,” said VisitLEX President Mary Quinn Ramer. It’s the ideal location for extraterrestrial travelers to begin exploring our world.”

Lexington’s iconic bluegrass landscape boasts beautiful, wide open spaces, perfect for landing a spacecraft. Named one of the top 3 friendliest cities in America by Conde Nast,Lexington is also home to the best food, bourbon, music and art planet Earth has to offer."

VisitLEX has a history of forward-thinking marketing, like award-winning Horse Kicks and The Queen’s Gambit hotel room makeover. But this campaign takes the innovation out of this world.

“While other DMOs are looking to Artificial Intelligence as the future of travel,” added Ramer, “we’re thinking even further ahead and looking to deep space.”

The TRAPPIST-1 system is the most studied planetary system outside of our own and is home to the largest number of potentially habitable, Earth-sized planets currently known. It will take 40 years for the advertisement to reach its target–and at least another 40 years to receive a response. 

To achieve this endeavor, VisitLEX assembled a team of experts led by Lexington native, Dr. Robert Lodder. Dr. Lodder is an expert in computer engineering, astrobiology, and SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence).

“It was quite the team effort,” said Dr. Lodder. “We brought together experts in engineering, linguistics, digital media, philosophy, and science fiction to design, debate, and transmit this message.” 

Contents of the message range from photos of Lexington, to an audio recording from legendary blues musician Tee Dee Young, to a coded bitmap image containing clues to the origin and intent of the transmission. 

“The bitmap image is the key to it all,” said linguistics expert Dr. Andrew Byrd. “We included imagery representing the elements of life, our iconic Lexington rolling hills, and the molecular structure for water, bourbon, and even dopamine…because Lexington is fun!” 

The message was transmitted with FAA approval. 

VisitLEX invites all Earthly travelers to plan an out-of-this-world vacation with its Extraterrestrial’s Guide to Lexington. 

You can also stop by the Lexington Visitor Center to see artifacts from this historic event, and to write your own message to aliens, which will be preserved at the Kentucky Horse Park for future extraterrestrial visitors. 

Creative assets, including hi-res photos and video, are available for use HERE.

For more information, please contact Leslie Miller at lmiller@visitlex.com