BourbonBlog.com wants to know if were YOU one of a half more than 500,000 people visited Kentucky Bourbon Trail distilleries in 2012?
If YES, tell us below on this link and which distillery tour was your favorite. If we select you from the list below, you’ll receive non-alcoholic special gift to celebrate (must be at 21 or over, we will contact you by email, some restrictions apply).
BourbonBlog.com congratulates Kentucky Bourbon Trail as this is the first time that the world-renowned tourism attraction has broken the half-million mark since its inception in 1999!
We’ve been following the stories of Bourbon and whiskey both on the trail and beyond Kentucky since 2005. At BourbonBlog.com, we’re the first to bring you the news from the world of Bourbon and we’re excited to bring you this news today.
The new attendance record of 509,292 is a 15 percent increase over 2011, with travelers from all 50 states and more than 50 countries making the iconic Bluegrass journey, said Adam Johnson, Director of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail experience.
Four Roses Distillery, improved their tourism experiences in 2012 with a new visitors center (see video below). Wild Turkey broke ground on its new visitor’s center that’s set to debut later this year (see video below), and Alltech’s Town Branch Distillery joined the tour in September. Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark unveiled new visitors experiences.
The tour also welcomed official sponsors to enhance the visitor experience, including the Louisville Marriott East, R & R Limo, The Woodford Inn, The Beaumont Inn, Art Eatables and more.
Created by the KDA in 1999, the landmark tour features Four Roses and Wild Turkey in Lawrenceburg; Heaven Hill in Bardstown; Jim Beam in Clermont; Maker’s Mark in Loretto; Town Branch in Lexington and Woodford Reserve in Versailles.
“We are happily overwhelmed,” Johnson tells us . “Our legendary distilleries are doing more than ever to welcome Bourbon visitors and give them a first-hand, educational and interactive look at the art and science behind our timeless craft.”
The attendance record wasn’t the only milestone set in 2012, Johnson said. The KDA’s “Passport” program that rewards visitors who receive stamps at all Kentucky Bourbon Trail® distilleries also reached an all-time high.
A total of 18,360 people from 50 states and 11 countries completed their Passport in 2012. That’s a 56 percent increase over the previous year and a whopping 9,614 percent increase since the Passport program started in 2007. Each Passport holder receives a free t-shirt to commemorate their achievement.
The KDA expects to record its 50,000th Passport holder in early 2013, Johnson said.
Passport holders are bringing much-needed revenue to local communities with a Kentucky Bourbon Trail distillery, KDA President Eric Gregory tells BourbonBlog.com. A University of Louisville study found that each person who completes the tour spends $737 on average.
“That means the tour has poured more than $32 million into local coffers in the last five years alone,” Gregory said, noting that 85 percent of Kentucky Bourbon Trail® visitors come from outside the Commonwealth.
“We believe the fiscal impact is actually much higher because it does not include the millions of people who haven’t finished their Passports,” Gregory said. “We hope they come back soon and get those final stamps.”
Watch our videos below and here are a few other noteworthy visitor statistics that the Kentucky Bourbon Trail shared with us from 2012
– Ohio overtook Kentucky as the top state for Passport completion
– 75 percent of visitors stayed in a hotel or bed and breakfast
– More than 53 percent had household incomes above $80,00
– 70 percent came to Kentucky just for the Kentucky Bourbon Trail tour
BourbonBlog.com‘s Video of Four Roses Distillery New Visitor Center Opening Day
BourbonBlog.com‘s Video of Wild TUrkey