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New visitor center dedicated at Mammoth Cave

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November 29, 2012 01:46 PM EST | AP

MAMMOTH CAVE, Ky. — Mammoth Cave National Park has dedicated a new $16.4 million visitors' center that includes more space and a place to view exhibits.

Bruce Powell, deputy superintendent of the national park, told the Glasgow Daily Times that "it's a day to celebrate" as several officials attended a ceremony Tuesday to mark the end of work that began in 2007.

Tom Byl of Nashville, Tenn., was visiting the park during the dedication and told the Daily News of Bowling Green he was impressed with the new center.

"This is worth coming to see all on its own," Byl said. "It's very educational. ... You've got the human stories and get to learn about the geology of the cave."

The exhibit is designed to tell stories or show things that most people won't see on a typical tour, according to Mike Adams, chief of interpretation at Mammoth Cave.

"We talk about eyeless fish and all these things, but in reality people will not have a chance to see those," Adams said. "So the exhibits are a chance to show people those."

Cave City Mayor Dwayne Hatcher said surrounding communities also will benefit from the center because more people will be drawn to the area.

"Any improvement out here just enhances the opportunity for all the surrounding communities to bring in more people and so financially it's a tremendous boost," he said.