Campari America has announced its plan to continue expansion of the famous Wild Turkey Distillery site in Lawrenceburg, Ky. At a groundbreaking ceremony yesterday attended by Governor Steve Beshear and Lawrenceburg Mayor Edwinna Baker, Campari America unveiled plans for a new $4 million visitor center on legendary Wild Turkey Hill. The company says the visitor center is the crowning jewel in the company’s near $100 million in distillery operation improvements since Gruppo Campari purchased the iconic whiskey brand in 2009.
The new Wild Turkey Visitor Center will be a dramatic upgrade over the small, 1,000-square-foot, circa 1800s building that currently hosts tastings for bourbon fans and serves as the company gift shop. Offering vistas of Wild Turkey Hill and the Kentucky River, the new building will occupy 8,500 square feet and be perched just behind the new distillery expansion, which opened in 2011.
“Our goal with our new visitor center is to offer bourbon fans an experience befitting the iconic Wild Turkey brand that will serve as a tourism cornerstone in Eastern Kentucky on the famous Kentucky Bourbon Trail® tour,” said Umberto Luchini, Head of Marketing, Campari America. “With the Wild Turkey brand growing at more than 22 percent globally, we are dedicated to advancing consumer education of Kentucky’s native spirit here in the Commonwealth with our new visitor center as well as all over the world.”
Slated to open in April 2013, the new Wild Turkey Visitor Center is expected to welcome upwards of 70,000 visitors annually—twice the 35,000 visitors per year of the previous facility. Broad woodwork along the outside of the two-story structure will be reminiscent of the staves that make up bourbon barrels. Vast windows will look out over the scenic Kentucky River and an expansive terrace will be perfect for picnics, events, and even musical performances. Inside, whiskey fans can expect to see a thoughtful blend of the distinctive history of Wild Turkey and the bourbon industry presented through modern technology.
“In 2011, tourism contributed more than $11.7 billion to Kentucky’s economy,” said Commonwealth of Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear. “I applaud Campari America and Gruppo Campari for making tourism a key aspect of their nearly $100 million in capital investments since they purchased the Wild Turkey brand three years ago.”