More than 500,000 people visited distilleries along Kentucky's bourbon trail in 2012, marking a 15% increase over the year before.
The Trail's director said the new attendance record was 509,292. It's the first time since the trail opened in 1999 that the number of visitors broke the half-million mark. Adam Johnson said visitors came from all 50 states and more than 50 countries.
The Kentucky Bourbon Trail is a distillery tour that features Four Roses and Wild Turkey in Lawrenceburg, Heaven Hill in Bardstown, Jim Beam in Clermont, Maker's Mark in Loretto, Town Branch in Lexington and Woodford Reserve in Versailles.
State and federal authorities are accusing a University of Kentucky athletics booster of running a massive pyramid scheme. A lawsuit has been filed against Fortune High-Tech Marketing, a Lexington company owned by Paul Orberson.
The self-made millionaire has donated more than $1 million to UK athletics. Attorney General Jack Conway says Fortune High-Tech scammed more 100,000 people out of hundreds of millions of dollars. Conway says 96% of people who bought into Fortune High-Tech lost their money.
The Kentucky Kingdom amusement park will open in spring of 2014 under an agreement approved Thursday. The Kentucky State Fair Board unanimously approved the pact that would require investors, led by former park operator Ed Hart, to put up $45 million, including $25 million that they would borrow.
The Courier-Journal reports the deal is contingent on investors securing the loan. The investment group behind the effort, the Kentucky Kingdom Redevelopment Corporation, would have a lease on the state-owned property for 50 years.
The group would control 57 acres and another four acres for a potential expansion of Kentucky Kingdom’s water park. When the park was open, it employed between 800 and 1,000 summer workers.