Cave City Working to Expand Tourism with I-65

By: Lauren Forsythe Email
By: Lauren Forsythe Email

Tourism officials in Cave City say recent I-65 construction caused less tourists to come to the area last year.

Now that construction near Exit 53 is complete, Cave City is preparing to attract more traffic in the area.

"We were flat and down last year because of the interstate. People just didn't realize that Exit 53 was closed and the state did the best they could. But when you are in the wrong lane and there is a big truck and you don't see the sign, people would just bypass us instead of turning around and coming back," Cave City Convention Center Executive Director Sharon Tabor says.

After coming out of a tough year, Cave City tourist attractions are preparing for increased traffic as the interstate widens.

As the I-65 widening project finishes up in the next few years, Tabor hopes the interstate will be the avenue for a greater tourism boost.

"We would like to see a rather aggressive goal of about a ten percent increase in the next five years," she says.

Cave City attractions employees are working together to use the interstate to their advantage.

"We've done some cooperative signage that we are working on for the interstate so that people know when they are coming down the interstate that there just isn't one attraction. There are a couple of us working together to do that," says Dinosaur World Marketing Director Nicole Randall.

The finished interstate is years away, but the city is working directly with the tourism groups to prepare for expected growth.

"We're in the process of putting more dollars into the expansion and doing some things that will enhance our possibilities to gain those folks here," says Cave City Mayor Dwayne Hatcher.

"We're appointing our own economic development committee to not only attract new business, but to see businesses that are in the area to see how we can make it easier for them to grow," City Council member, Gary "Doc" Hogan says.

Hogan says Cave City continues to be a great stopping location for tourists passing through the area, but his goal is to bring more vacationers.

Right now, Dinosaur World, Diamond Caverns, Kentucky Down Under and several other attractions are partnering together for a six dollar Sunday deal for South Central Kentucky residents.

Follow the link for more participating attractions and information:

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