The sinkhole that sucked up eight Chevrolet Corvettes in February still resides under the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, KY. What was first seen as a disaster, has led the National Corvette Museum Board of Directors to consider two options: fill the sinkhole in or keep the sinkhole in its current state. No brainer, right? Fill the sinkhole in, but there’s a good reason as to why they won’t.
According to Christy Thomas – CFO for the museum – the number of visitors from March-June 23, 2014 is up 59 percent, compared to the same time last year. Admissions to the museum have increased by 71 percent, Corvette Café sales have surged by 58 percent, Corvette Store sales rose by 58 percent, and membership to the museum has climbed by 72 percent. With total revenue up by 65 percent, the sinkhole has added a new level of interest in its customers.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise then to learn that the board has decided to keep a small portion – approximately 25 feet by 45 feet wide and 30 feet deep – of the sinkhole available for visitors to scrutinize. The original decision to fill the sinkhole was scraped after attendance and museum revenues escalated.
Construction plans also include eliminating the two-level display space to allow more cars to be placed in the Skydome and to make it easier to get cars in and out of the facility.
Thomas believes that the decision to keep the sinkhole open is the best, since it leaves the option to fill the sinkhole later, if attendance happens to drop again. However, board members are interested in obtaining more information on the sinkhole itself before proceeding with any measures. The sinkhole may alter the humidity within the Skydome, which could damage the cars on display and impact utility costs to heat and cool the room.
As of right now, the sinkhole will remain open through September for interested visitors. If you’re interested in visiting the museum, now’s the best time to see the Corvettes on display, just look be on the lookout for sinkholes.