Automotive tourism brings in millions, improvements to Beech Bend Road expected to ease traffic concerns

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – This year was a big year for automotive events in Bowling Green, A.K.A. Hot Rod City U.S.A.

The city is well known for its racing and car events at Beech Bend Raceway and the National Corvette Museum..

Money made outside of the area getting spent in Bowling Green benefits the city’s economic development.

“As you have people from the outside coming into our community and spending money, that spending helps to cover tax income that then balances the budget so that it then takes pressure off local governments from raising local taxes on residents here,” said Ron Bunch, president and CEO of the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce.

Last year Holley’s LS Fest brought in over $6 million to the community.

Representatives of local clothing stores such as My Friend’s Place and Pappagallo said during the events, tourists visit their stores and make purchases, boosting sales for their companies.

With an upcoming expansion project to Beech Bend Road, the president and Bunch expects even more visitors to flock to racing and other automotive events at Beech Bend Park.

“But because there were so many people, you had traffic backed up, and some people that would’ve otherwise come in and spent money here ended up turning around and leaving and so our community wanted to make sure that didn’t happen and so our city and county worked very quickly together, developed an estimate, evaluated different alternatives for improving access, and came up with really a great project. It’s just under $300,000, it’s going to expand another lane of traffic going into the park, and with that it should have traffic flow a lot better,” said Bunch.

The road expansion is expected to speed up entrance to the park and create an easier road for emergency vehicles to travel.