WILLIAMSTOWN, Ky. (WDRB) -- A $100 million replica of Noah's Ark just opened in July, and it is already drawing hundreds of thousands of visitors.

Nearly 350,000 visitors have made the trip in the first three months. One state estimate had predicted 325,000 for the entire year.

"People are just very curious about it. People are coming from all over the world," said Patrick Kanewske with the Ark Encounter. Virtually every state in the United States has been represented here. I've talked to people from Ireland, Singapore, Iceland even."

The ark was made according to specifications in the Bible.

It is 510 feet long, about 84 feet tall and 85 feet wide. The site also has a petting zoo and a restaurant.

The owner of Elmer’s General Store in Williamstown has hired more employees and says business has tripled since the Ark Encounter opened.

"We're trying to get more ark ready, if you will," Elmer Burchett said. "We only had seating for like 60 people, and now we can sit 175."

One couple we spoke with stopped to see the ark on their drive home to Jacksonville, Fla., after attending a conference in Indiana.     

"I am stunned that this many people would be interested,” Sean Perron said.   

Ark officials say they're expecting more than 1.2 million people in the first year.

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