Tourism Spikes At Corvette Museum After Sinkhole Swallows Eight Cars

By Kristin Martin | 

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) -- Eight Corvettes fell into a sinkhole at the National Corvette Museum last month, but tourism didn't fall with them.

They saw the images all over the news.

"It's different when you see it in person down here -- really has torn these cars up," said Byron Bailey from Jeffersonville, IN.

Now, they're stopping by to see the five that have been pulled out and the hole where the other three still lie.

"I wish you could get closer and see inside of it, because I wanted to see what the other cars look like," said Kylee Andrews from Tennessee.

The first car out actually started, but the fifth was completely smashed.

"I still can't believe the glass is still in one little crinkle, but it's really sad what happened," Andrews said.

"They see the first one and you hear, 'Oh, that's sad.' As the cars are in worse shape leading up to the fifth car they extracted, you hear physical moans and they're in pain for them. I saw a lady today who was actually in tears and shaking," said Debbie Eaton, the guest services manager for the museum.

Eaton said, as unfortunate as it was, the museum is experiencing some positives from the disaster.

"There have been so many people who have come with the expressed purpose of seeing the sinkhole. Well, those people we get to introduce to the Corvette and the Corvette people we get to introduce to the sinkhole," Eaton said.

Like these two men who made a pit stop on their way home from Mississippi.

"We wanted to see this sinkhole and these Corvettes that come out," said Glendale Queener of Louisville.

I've never had the opportunity to stop in before to the museum, but it's very interesting," Bailey added.

Eaton said 700 more tourists came from February 13th to March 13th this year than last.

"The work that's being done in the domes with the cranes and the drilling -- they're finding that very interesting too. So some of this has been an unexpected tourist attraction," she said.

Museum members asked that all cars be put on display untouched where they'll stay through August.

Museum officials said workers continue to drill and make sure the hole stays secure before digging out the other three cars.

They say it could take up to three weeks before the next car is pulled out.

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