Underground salt mine to host tours

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HUTCHINSON, Kan. -- A new museum that pays tribute to an underground salt mine in Kansas will reinstitute a local tradition when it offers tours to the public.

The Kansas Underground Salt Museum opens for tours May 1.

Hutchinson was settled in 1871 and became the seat of Reno County in 1872. Salt was discovered in Reno County in 1887 and two dozen different processing plants were built in the area, according to the museum's Web site. Tours of the mine were offered to the public from 1923 until 1965.

The new tours will take visitors 650 feet down in an elevator, then aboard a tram to explore the inner workings of the mine.

The Greater Hutchinson Convention and Visitors Bureau is expecting an increase in visitors from people touring the underground museum along with the nearby Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center.

In April, a contingent of officials associated with the new museum and surrounding area will tour similar attractions that have been successful in Europe, including the Wieliczka Salt Mine in Poland, which attracts more than 1 million tourists visit a year, along with the Salzburg Austria Salt Mines and the Bex Salt Mines in Switzerland, according to The Hutchinson News.

For details about the Kansas Underground Salt Museum, visit http://www.undergroundmuseum.org/index.php.



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