Maker's Mark Puts Millions Into New Visitor Center

LORETTO, Ky. (AP) - A famous distillery has joined the list of bourbon producers investing with hopes of boosting tourism to their facilities.

Maker's Mark's will hold the grand opening for its new, bigger visitor center next week to coincide with the Kentucky Bourbon festival in Bardstown. The new center cost more than two million dollars.

Close to 70 thousand people per year already visit the Loretto distillery.

Maker's Mark President Bill Samuels says the project isn't aimed directly at making money, but building loyalty among customers.

Fellow bourbon makers Heaven Hill Distilleries runs the Bourbon Heritage Center in Bardstown, and Brown-Forman promotes Woodford Reserve at its distillery in Versailles.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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