The National Corvette Museum’s board of directors in Kentucky voted to fill an entire hole that opened up in February and became an Internet sensation. The massive sinkhole that swallowed eight prized sports cars will not become a permanent attraction at the National Corvette Museum.
Curiosity over the hole brought higher attendance and revenues for the museum in Bowling Green, an hour north of Nashville. However, board members decided against preserving a section of the gaping hole even if in June officials were leaning towards keeping a part of the hole open with a crumpled sports car back in with reference to when cars toppled amid rocks, concrete and dirt when the sinkhole opened up in the museum’s Skydome. Museum officials gave up the option of keeping the hole open due to added costs required by safety features.
Museum Executive Director, Wendell Strode, stated that “we really wanted to preserve a portion of the hole so that guests for years to come could see a little bit of what it was like, but after receiving more detailed pricing, the cost outweighs the benefit”.
Costs mounted to about $1 million, doubling the earlier estimates, as 35-foot-tall retaining walls and inserted beams would need to be installed in the hole for safety and humidity-control features. The museum will remain open, but the Skydome will not be available for visitors, who can watch the repairs through a Plexiglas wall as the hole will be filled completely with rock. Announcements about repairing the sinkhole and cars came as thousands of Corvette enthusiasts converged on BowlingGreen during the holiday weekend to celebrate the museum’s 20th anniversary. The museum owned six of the cars from the sinkhole and the other two were on loan from GM. General Motors will help the museum recover from the sinkhole by providing it with $250,000.
By Gabriela Florea