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Tourism Venues Among Businesses Coming Back to Life from COVID-19

National Corvette Museum

Museums, libraries, distilleries, aquariums, and outdoor attractions opened their doors on Monday for the first time in nearly three months. 

The venues are resuming operations under Kentucky’s phased-in reopening of the economy stemming from the coronavirus. 

New and renovated exhibit spaces await visitors at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green. President and CEO Sean Preston says the visitor experience won’t be that different compared to before the pandemic began.

"There’s plenty of room for families and groups to move throughout the museum. Our Corvette store is open, Corvette Café is open, you can buy raffle tickets, and you can take a ride in our simulator," Preston explained. "For the guests that visit, no difference probably in their experience, other than the fact the interactive technology won’t be turned on.”

Preston said a lot of work has gone on behind the scenes to sanitize the entire museum during the nearly 12-week closure.  The COVID-19 outbreak hit during a slower time of year for the attraction. He said the museum is reopening at the height of its busy season which is typically June through September.

The National Corvette Museum is also keeping groups under ten people and allowing only 33 percent occupancy throughout the facility. Preston says masks for visitors aren’t required, but are encouraged.

The attraction is following CDC and Healthy at Work requirements that have been established for other sectors, including retail and restaurant, which are both within the museum. 

At Lost River Cave in Bowling Green, boat tours resumed and the gift shop and visitor's center reopened on Monday.  Hiking trails reopened on May 25.  The butterfly habitat is closed for restoration for the remainder of 2020, as well as the zipline.

The attraction is also taking a number of steps to combat the spread of COVID-19, such as requiring all visitors to wear a mask on the boat tour and in the gift shop and restrooms.  All surfaces in the gift shop and restrooms are being sanitized regularly, and the number of guests in the gift shop is limited to ten people.  Staff are also wearing personal protective equipment and starting the day with temperature checks.

Lisa is a Scottsville native and WKU alum. She has worked in radio as a news reporter and anchor for 18 years. Prior to joining WKU Public Radio, she most recently worked at WHAS in Louisville and WLAC in Nashville. She has received numerous awards from the Associated Press, including Best Reporter in Kentucky. Many of her stories have been heard on NPR.
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