Booze and Creationism Fuel Kentucky Tourism

This is exciting news which we found in the Cincinnati Business Courier of Cincinnati, Ohio, just across the border from Northern Kentucky where Ken Ham’s creationist empire is located. Their headline is Bourbon, Ark boosted NKY tourism to record-breaking year, and they don’t seem to have a comments feature. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

The travel and tourism industry in Northern Kentucky had a record-breaking year last year. MeetNKY | Northern Kentucky Convention and Visitors Bureau said Boone, Campbell and Kenton counties generated 2017 visitor spending of $450 million. That represents an increase of nearly 16 percent compared to 2016. The spending was fueled by demand for bourbon experiences, restaurants and new hotels, and the Ark Encounter.

Ooooooooooooh! How much of that $450 million was generated by Ark Encounter — the creationist tourist attraction built by Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo), the ayatollah of Appalachia? Eagerly, we read on:

Eric Summe, president and CEO of the visitors bureau, said tourism has a “tremendous impact” on the local economy. For each night a hotel room was occupied, an additional $130 was spent at regional attractions, restaurants, stores and on transportation.

That’s a clue, but we need more. The article continues:

The B-Line, Northern Kentucky’s collection of craft bourbon distilleries, bars and restaurants, also launched in 2017. There are three distilleries — New Riff Distilling, Boone County Distilling Co., and Old Pogue Distillery — in the region for guests to visit. The region was named an official gateway to Kentucky’s famous Bourbon Trail in November 2017.

Bourbon is a powerful attraction! But what about the Ark? The article says:

More than 1 million people visited the Ark Encounter in its first year of operation. Ken Ham, founder and president of Answers in Genesis, expects 2017-2018 attendance to be in the 1.4 million to 2.2 million range. According to Ham, more than 95 percent of Ark Encounter visitors come from outside Kentucky, Ohio and Indiana.

A million visitors is consistent with what we reported a few months ago in Ark Encounter Ticket Sales Figures Released. If they spent $130 per day — and assuming the Ark only takes a day to visit — then the rest of that $450 million was generated by other attractions. How many of Hambo’s Ark visitors also hit the Bourbon Trail? We’re not given that information.

The article doesn’t say anything else that interests us, so what did we learn? There are two possible conclusions: (1) either Bourbon is either a much bigger tourist attraction than ol’ Hambo’s Ark; or (2) Bourbon and the Ark both appeal to the same crowd. Which do you think it is, dear reader?

Copyright © 2018. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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18 responses to “Booze and Creationism Fuel Kentucky Tourism

  1. Our Curmudgeon does not exhaust the possibilities here. What about:

    (3) visiting the Ark Encounter renders one in desperate need of a shot of Bourbon

  2. Wildly off topic: today is 50th anniversary of the untimely death of Yuri Gagarin, a hero for the whole of humanity.


  3. Michael Fugate

    4) people are more likely to agree to a visit to the Ark when under the influence; it appears much less absurd.

  4. “According to Ham, more than 95 percent of Ark Encounter visitors come from outside Kentucky, Ohio and Indiana.”

    That’s harder to believe than Adam & Eve riding around on dinosaurs. Now, if Ham had said more than 95 percent came from outside Williamstown, Kentucky, I could swallow that.

  5. Michael Fugate

    What I am wondering is, will anyone who has been ever go back?

  6. Gosh, how many of those Ark Encounter visitors were also bourbon drinkers and got double counted? Inquiring minds want to know!

  7. Nothing strange here, after all Noah himself was a boozy beggar.

  8. Michael Fugate:
    “What I am wondering is, will anyone who has been ever go back?”

    1) Bourbon Tour — definitely!
    2) Ark — Uh, not too sure…

  9. Likely people need to get a little tipsy before venturing in to the encounter of the ark. That way their senses are numbed before they see the abysmal garbage ham throws at them.

  10. Hard to pick up the exact cause and effect. Need more data. Does visiting the ark force one to bourbon or does bourbon get you over to the ark? I suppose Ham doesn’t mind.

    I visited most of the Mormon holy sites (if that is the correct word) in and around Nauvoo, Illinois, at one time. Joseph Smith is buried there (been to the grave), been to the jail where he was ambushed and killed in Carthage, and was able to tour the temple when it opened thanks to the kind invitation of a good friend of mine who is a Mormon Bishop. When,a temple is built, it is briefly opened for tours but from then on, no heathen allowed in, so no soup for you or me now. Despite my interest in seeing them, once was plenty. I’m guessing that that will be the typical reaction to the ark.

  11. If you drink enough bourbon, and then hit the ark, you will able to feel the boat move up and down and back and forth.

  12. Ham should encourage visitors to the Ark Park to go on the bourbon tour first, then immediately return to see the Ark. That way they won’t remember anything about the Ark, and will need to return. In fact, he could make a deal with one of the distillers to set up shop at his entrance to make it real easy. (Perhaps Heaven Hill Distillery?)

  13. Michael Fugate

    Bourbon aged in gopher-wood barrels?

  14. Hambo mentioned the tourism report — see Northern Kentucky Has Its Best Year for Tourism Ever, but for some reason he didn’t mention bourbon. The impression he gives is that his creationist attractions are entirely responsible for the increase in tourism.

  15. Ross Cameron

    GPG, is it true Mormons rip up and replace the carpet in their temples after it has been trodden by unbelievers? Do they wear their sacred underwear while doing it? I lead a sheltered life.

  16. @ Ross Cameron: I don’t know about the carpets, but I suspect they are obliged to rip off and tear up their sacred underwear if they are spied wearing it by unbelievers…

  17. …or else, they rip apart the spying unbelievers.

    No, wait, it’s not Mormons that do that, but Maenads. My bad.

  18. @Michael Fugate: How about bourbon aged in barrels of wood from the True ArkTM?