The National Corvette Museum’s sinkhole could be a permanent fixture after the board of the museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky, voted to keep at least a portion of the massive hole that swallowed eight prize Corvettes earlier this year.
The massive sinkhole opened up in the middle of the museum in February when the museum was closed. No one was injured in the incident, but eight Corvettes suffered extensive damage when they fell in, according to Fox News. But what started out as a tragedy for the museum turned into an opportunity for the museum, which struggled in prior years to keep its doors open.
Museum Executive Director Wendell Strode explained, “This gives us one more asset… to be able to attract those folks that maybe just having Corvettes on display would not get them to come here. We think it will continue for some time to be of great interest.”
The damaged cars looked like toys in photos of the sinkhole that opened up in the National Corvette Museum’s Skydome. The vehicles carry a total value reported to be more than $1 million. The extent of damage varies widely between the cars, which were pulled out of the hole with great fanfare.
Visitors to the National Corvette Museum can now take a close look at the sinkhole and the damaged Corvettes. While the initial shock was difficult for the museum, and the Chevrolet community, the sinkhole turned out to be a blessing for the museum.
Attendance at the Corvette museum was up almost 60 percent from March to the start of this week, compared to the same period last year, reports the Detroit News. Sign-ups for museum memberships have also skyrocketed, as have sales at the cafe and merchandise sales.
Strode stated that board members considered filling the sinkhole in, preserving the entire sinkhole, or keeping a portion of it. The final vote was in favor of the third option, and there is a “strong probability” that one or two of the damaged cars will be placed back in the hole.
The entire sinkhole and eight damaged Corvettes will likely be on display through the end of August, then construction on the “revised” hole will begin in September. No final decision has been made on how many of the damaged cars will be repaired, but Chevrolet has stepped forward to oversee restoration efforts on the iconic cars.
The estimated cost to complete the project at the National Corvette Museum is between $3 million and $5 million.
[Image via National Corvette Museum]