The Oak Grove Tourism Commission is brainstorming ideas to create a new attraction that will bring more tourists to Oak Grove.

During it's regular meeting Tuesday afternoon, commissioners discussed ideas for the land the commission recently purchased from Pennyrile Electric.

At the commission's previous meeting Sept. 10, the commission made a decision to purchase a five-acre lot from Pennyrile Electric. The lot is across from the War Memorial Walking Trail on Walter Garrett Lane, adjacent to the tourism commission office.

After successfully buying the land several weeks ago, Traci Cunningham, executive director of the Oak Grove Tourism, met with her staff for a brief meeting to discuss ideas of what the commission should use the land for.

Cunningham presented some of those ideas to the commission Tuesday afternoon. The biggest idea the staff came up with was to create a moonshine museum.

"It's interesting and I think this is a big tourism draw because people are going to want to say Oak Grove has a museum about moonshine, where it started it, how many years ago and all that stuff and they would come in and want to look at this museum and tour it," Cunningham said.

"Nobody else has that. We (Hopkinsville and Oak Grove area) have distilleries, but they don't have where the moonshine started as a museum, not like selling it like they have it."

The idea behind the museum would be to educate visitors on the history moonshine, i.e. how it started and the progress its made over the years. The museum would host tours.

Newly sworn-in commissioner Heather Caughlin, who represents the hotels of Oak Grove, said she thought a moonshine museum was a good idea.

She added that if the commission could find a way to tie in the museum with the local moonshine distilleries, the museum could be a big attraction.

Caughlin continued to say that both Casey Jones and MB Roland distilleries have been increasing in popularity with hosting events and being a tourism attraction themselves. Having a moonshine museum would help both Oak Grove and the distilleries, she said.

Caughlin, Cunningham and Commissioner Matt Buchanan all hope that if the commission decides to create a museum that local distilleries will also donate historical items or offer help in some form.

At this time, nothing is set in stone and the commission is still in the brainstorming phase. However, the new lot will initially be used as additional parking for events at Valor Hall and the park.

Cunningham shared some additional ideas her staff has come up with; however, none seemed as likely as the museum. The ideas ranged from an aquarium, drive-in movie theater, amusement or water park and more.

In other business:

• The commission officially swore in Heather Caughlin to represent the hotels in Oak Grove.

• The commission approved budget amendments to reflect the purchase of the new lot as well as lower expenses in payroll. Cunningham shared that she is not replacing the events and public relations manager position.

Reach Avery Seeger at 270-887-3236 or aseeger@kentuckynewera.com. Follow him on Twitter @AveryNewEra

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