It’s no secret that the average age of a Corvette owner is getting older and older with each passing year.
But the National Corvette Museum is hoping to put the brakes on that trend with a permanent children’s exhibit that is set to open in the fall.
“We’ve been looking for several years to find the right fit for a children’s exhibit,” said Katie Frassinelli, marketing director for the museum. “Parents wanted stuff that children could do and touch.” Mission accomplished.
The exhibit will be housed in a 1,000-square-foot storage space and an unused nearby classroom. It’ll include a mini auto shop complete with a child-size car and small tools that make sounds like those used in a real auto shop and will also have an interactive assembly line exhibit from the Louisville Science Center.
Frassinelli said adults will supervise the exhibit, and scouting groups will likely use the classroom for members to complete an automotive badge.
Since museum officials expect to see increased attendance thanks to the new exhibit, the Bowling Green Area Convention and Visitors Bureau climbed on board, preliminarily approving $40,000 on Monday to help pay for the $106,000 exhibit. City and county governments still have to OK the expenditure from Special Tourism Projects funding. A $42,500 private donation will also be used to pay for the exhibit.
Officials hope the exhibit draws more families to the museum, and they are conservatively estimating it will up attendance by about 20 percent a year – which would add up to $125,000 more a year in admissions, $30,000 in café sales, and $160,000 more spent in the museum store.
That would also be good news for the local economy, since Frassinelli believes the impact might be worth about $370,000 to businesses if 25 percent of the new visitors wind up spending the night and spending about $74 a person. CVB Executive Director Vicki Fitch believes the number might be closer to $450,000.
Chairman David Wiseman and other CVB members unanimously approved the project. “I really think this speaks to our mission,” Wiseman said, noting that the CVB’s goal is to promote tourism spending in the community.
BG Daily News
Corvette Museum’s Zoning Request for Motorsports Park Clears Next Hurdle
Corvette Museum Member Establishes Education Endowment for Underprivileged Children
2012 Corvette Hall of Fame Inductees Announced