Economic Boost Expected During National Corvette Homecoming

By Kristin Martin | 

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) -- As Corvettes roll in for the 33rd National Corvette Homecoming this Thursday, so will tourists.

2007 Corvette

Many out-of-towners are expecting to see some new attractions at this year's event.

"We have adopted a new slogan, 'There's no place like home.' That's what we're doing with homecoming -- bringing all the cars, all the people home," Joe Pruitt, the event owner.

He's making last-minute preparations for one of Bowling Green's biggest events.

"We've got them driving from Washington state, California, Florida, New York -- those are flying in, but they're coming in from New York -- a lot out of Indiana, Illinois, and all that area. Tennessee, all over," Pruitt said.

He expects about two thousand people this year.

He said it's one of the bigger crowds in the past few years, and if it's not the museum sinkhole causing more interest in the area, it's the promise of other new opportunities during the homecoming this year.

"We'll be taking several people up to the new motorsports park, to the museum and to the factory, which is open for the first time in the three years," Pruitt said.

Corvette enthusiasts aren't the only to benefit from the homecoming.

"When you say a thousand, two thousand or three thousand people, that doesn't sound like a lot. Then you've got to think, these cars only hold two people. So you got a lot of cars running around. A lot of cars that need gasoline. They need snacks, food, motel rooms and things like that, so yes, we bring in quite a bit of money," Pruitt said.

Several area hotels are completely booked already, and area restaurants are preparing for extra customers.

"These people are spending a lot of money in our community, and we're glad to have these kind of events going on in Bowling Green. I think a lot of people will see a big increase in sales this weekend due to all the tourists," said Ed Griffin, the owner of Griff's Deli.

Pruitt said he hopes locals will stop by the event to see the 300 Corvettes he's expecting.

He also said they're hoping auctions at the event will help raise money for Barren River Area Safe Space.

The National Corvette Homecoming started when the assembly plant came to Bowling Green in 1981.

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