New zip coaster at Indiana Caverns helps to grow tourism in Harrison County

 

By RACHAEL KRAUSE | WAVE 3 News

There’s something new drawing people into Indiana Caverns. It’s not a new cave, but a new ride, combining a zip line with a roller coaster.

“It was fun, it was very smooth,” Jacob Miller, 14, from Jacksonville, Fla., said.

The new zip line/roller coaster combo is a rush for riders.

“When you like drop from the beginning,” Samuel Miller, 10, said.

the Millers
Samuel and Jacob Miller had a lot of fun visiting Indiana Caverns. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

The Bat Chaser ride opened up one week ago. It’s the first of its kind to be installed in the Midwest, drawing people in just looking to ride.

Here from Jacksonville, both the caves and zip coaster are a draw for the Miller family.

“We’re going to do the cave tour after this, see what’s down there,” Jacob said.

It’s part of the Binkley Cave system, one of the largest in the country.

“We want to make this place not just a place for you to come see our great cave, go on an underground boat ride and see the great formations of the cave itself, but we’ve also added other things so you can spend the day at the Indiana Caverns,” Rob Houchens, an Indiana Caverns partner, said.

Indiana Caverns zip coaster Bat Chaser
The Bat Chaser opened up in June at Indiana Caverns. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

Since they opened in 2013, it’s grown as a tourist destination, with 200,000 visits so far. Their new zip coaster will help to boost tourism in Harrison County.

“But we do have a very strong visitor industry with over a million a year,” Jeremy Yackle, Executive Director for Harrison County Convention and Visitors Bureau, said.

The wineries, cave systems, Horseshoe Casino and Indiana’s first state capitol drive visitors in from the Louisville, Indianapolis and Cincinnati metros, as well as people from all around the country. The number of visitors grows each year.

New attractions like the zip coaster help bring people in off the interstate, helping the local economy in turn.

Indiana Caverns
Indiana Caverns are part of the Binkley Cave system, one of the largest in the country. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

“We see a tremendous impact from visitor spending every year,” Yackle said. “That number is close to $30 million total impact every year.”

With more new additions like escape rooms coming to Indiana Caverns, they’re hopeful they can continue to grow interest in the region.

“It absolutely encourages us in our five and 10 year plan, which is to add more attractions, to make Indiana Caverns a destination for people to come to,” Houchens said.

And they want to keep families like the Millers coming back.

“I didn’t think Indiana would have something this fun,” Jacob said. “I’m surprised!”

For more information about the Indiana Caverns, click or tap here.

For more information about what to do in Harrison County, click or tap here.

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