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Carter Caves State Resort Park sees increase in tourism

Not tied to the pandemic or holiday weekend
Published: Jul. 2, 2021 at 7:03 PM EDT
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CARTER COUNTY, Ky. (WSAZ) -The Fourth of July weekend is often known as one of the busiest times for state parks, campgrounds, and boat rentals, but at Carter Caves State Resort Park, the busy season started long before the holiday weekend.

“Roughly around July 1st of last year, we were taking cave tours about every 15 minutes in order to accommodate the demand, " said Paul Tierney, a park naturalist at Carter Caves State Resort Park. " To be quite honest with you, since we’ve started those cave tours back up, we’ve not really slowed down.”

Just last month alone, the park experienced record-breaking sales numbers.

Tierney says the group they’ve seen out the most are families.

“I’m glad people have rediscovered this [area], but it wasn’t expected. We’ve got people who say, ‘Oh, I just live down the road. I didn’t know this was here,’ ” Tierney said.

Chris Perry, the park manager at Carter Caves State Resort Park, says they’ve implemented different ideas to adapt and keep guests entertained.

“We do an escape room in the Saltpeter Cave. Where else can you do that in the Tri-State?” Perry said. “We also do drive-in movies.”

As for the caverns, the park staff works to preserve it natural wonders, but Perry said he hopes the boost in tourism continues for years to come.

For a list of things to do, click here.

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