Glasgow Daily Times, Glasgow, KY

March 13, 2014

Welcome center work nears completion

By GINA KINSLOW
Glasgow Daily Times

CAVE CITY — Work to renovate Cave City’s welcome center on Mammoth Cave Avenue is anticipated to be completed by March 30.

The welcome center is getting an overhaul to make it more user-friendly.

“It was kind of outdated. There hadn’t been anything done to it in many, many years,” said Sharon Tabor, executive director of the Cave City Convention Center. “We want it to represent the area. It’s one of the first things that people see when they come to the community and we wanted to set the stage for their visit.”

The welcome center also serves as office space for the Cave City Chamber of Commerce, but there was nothing separating the space the two entities share.

“It was hard to determine which was which,” she said. “We wanted the chamber to have their own space and to have their privacy for their board meetings.”

Tabor and the Cave City Tourism and Convention Center’s board of directors enlisted the help of interior design students at Western Kentucky University to come up with some designs for the welcome center.

“We wanted to represent that whole green, outdoors, sustainable, repurposed, recycling … atmosphere,” she said.

Wooden pallets will be used to divide the space; creating a private area for the chamber of commerce board of director meetings.

Materials are being used to create faux rocks and historical photographs of Cave City from the early 1900s have been borrowed from the Kentucky Library and Museum in Bowling Green, as well as some other artifacts.

There will also be a small area representing Kentucky Proud, Kentucky Crafted and Buy Barren items, as well as a small cooler so Chaney’s ice cream can be sold, in addition to candy, candles, soaps, jams and jellies and other handcrafted items made out of metal and alpaca yarn.

The welcome center will also feature an information center with brochures about various attractions.

Work on the renovation was stalled a couple of weeks due to the discovery of some structural issues.

“When the building was moved, there was no support put in the middle of the floor,” Tabor said.

To remedy the problem, new pillars, floor joists and braces are being installed and some new concrete is being poured, she said.

Once the renovation is complete, there will be about 30 different brochures placed outside the welcome center so visitors who arrive after business hours can obtain them to help plan their visit.

“We are trying to make it as visitor-friendly as possible and a positive representation of the area,” Tabor said.

The overall cost of the renovation project will be less than $6,000 for materials, with labor being done by convention center employees and community service workers.

An open house for the welcome center is being planned for late April.