Monticello advertises itself as "The Houseboat Capital of the World" due to the large number of houseboat manufacturers in the city. The city sits next to Lake Cumberland, and much of its economy is built on serving the recreational and tourist traffic to the lake.
Monticello attorney Sara Beth Gregory is the current District 16 member of the Kentucky State Senate, representing Wayne, Adair, Clinton, Cumberland, McCreary, Russell, and Taylor counties. She is a former member of the Kentucky House of Representatives. The District 52 House seat is again held by Ken Upchurch of Monticello.