Bullitt County, KY (WDRB News) -- Millions of dollars in new investments will enhance Kentucky's bourbon trail.
The new projects hope to attract even more tourists to the state.
Among the visitors to Bourbon Trail on Saturday were the mayors of Kentucky's two largest cities.
On Saturday afternoon there was a steady line of people at the Jim Beam Distillery in Bullitt County.
The visitors center was packed with tourists from all over the country and even from Canada.
"I love it, I learned a lot about what makes bourbon," says Amy Mason, visiting from Brooklyn, New York, "and I really enjoyed tasting the bourbon.
The Jim Beam Distillery attracts some 80,000 visitors each year. Another one of those was Scott Plummer who traveled from Illinois. "It was interesting just to get to know some of the history of the Jim Beam family and how whiskey is made," he says.
Beam is one of six distilleries in Central Kentucky that make up the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.
It is investing $18 million dollars to build a new visitors center and should be open later this fall. Beam hopes to double the number of visitors as a result of the new building.
Investing in the bourbon trail is good for bourbon sales. "The more they can appreciate and associate with the product the more we can expect to sell," says Jim Beam Noe the project manager for the distillery.
Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer and Lexington Mayor Jim Gray today were on the bourbon trail together to see how the industry is growing and their cities can benefit.
"The question is in Louisville how do we optimize the tourist experience," says Fischer, "with Louisville as the western gateway to the bourbon trail, how do we pull all of this together for the benefit of everyone."
Mayor Gray was impressed with all of the expansion underway at the distilleries. "At every distillery we are seeing new visitors centers, new bottling operations, and new distilling facilities as well."
A recent study shows that most visitors to the Kentucky Bourbon Trail come from out of state which leads to more business for local hotels and restaurants.
According to the Kentucky Distillers' Association the Bourbon Trail gets about 500,000 visits a year.