It’s Number 1

The Ark Encounter and Creation Museum have made Northern Kentucky the biggest faith-based tourist destination in America.

by Ken Ham on September 21, 2021
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Attractions Magazine (attractionsmagazine.com) recently posted an article entitled “USA Top Attractions by State.” The article begins, “Recent research conducted by the online travel booking site Musement has identified the most popular attraction in every state of the country.”

Now without even reading the article or looking at their map, I thought Disneyland would be the top attraction in California, and it was. I then suspected Walt Disney World Resort would top the Florida attractions (and it did), and the Georgia Aquarium would be number one in Georgia (and it was). Then I wondered, “Could the Ark Encounter be number one in Kentucky?”—and for this research, it is! Who would have thought an unashamedly evangelistic, biblically based attraction could be in that position!

Actually, the Ark Encounter and Creation Museum have made Northern Kentucky the biggest faith-based tourist destination in America. The financial impact on Northern Kentucky has been substantial to the tune of many tens of millions of dollars. Hotel occupancy is way above the national average, and thousands of jobs in the community have been created.

Actually, the Ark Encounter and Creation Museum have made Northern Kentucky the biggest faith-based tourist destination in America.

But the greatest impact of all is the spiritual impact on millions of people who have visited. Thousands pour into Northern Kentucky daily (92% of our visitors are from outside Kentucky) to be impacted by these God-honoring, family-friendly Christian attractions.

Someone recently asked me, “Why did you build the Ark and Creation Museum?” I answered this way:

As I stand in the Ark or Creation Museum, I see and meet a diversity of people you just would not see in the average church. Our research indicates that 30% of visitors are non-Christians. We’ve hosted people of every skin shade from very dark to very light, public school groups, Christian school groups, secular tour groups, Muslims, Sikhs, Roman Catholic nuns, Greek Orthodox priests, atheists, Amish, Mennonites, Baptists, Presbyterians, Lutherans, Anglicans, Methodists, Latinos, gay people, and visitors from many countries around the globe! They come and see attractions the quality of Disney (or better) and are challenged with the truth of God’s Word and the gospel in a nonthreatening environment—and they can have a lot of fun at the same time.
We’ve hosted people of every skin shade from very dark to very light, public school groups, Christian school groups, secular tour groups, Muslims, Sikhs, Roman Catholic nuns, Greek Orthodox priests, atheists, Amish, Mennonites, Baptists, Presbyterians, Lutherans, Anglicans, Methodists, Latinos, gay people, and visitors from many countries around the globe!

Both attractions are stunning and get rave reviews. As someone said to me, “The exhibits present the truth of God’s Word in a very professional, high-quality way, but they don’t do it in an ‘in your face’ way. And yet, it’s obvious that you believe God’s Word and want everyone to hear the saving gospel.”

From a human perspective, it was impossible that these attractions could have ever become a reality. But God miraculously brought an amazing group of people together and raised up dedicated supporters to make it happen. Let’s all exclaim as the psalmist did in Psalm 9:1–2:

I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds. I will be glad and exult in you; I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.

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