A joint effort between the Corbin Tourism Commission, Corbin Downtown and Sheltowee Trace Adventure Outfitters to allow visitors to experience Downtown Corbin met with moderate success on its first night as eight people took advantage of the opportunity to ride the Corbin trolley from the campsite to downtown and back.
Corbin Tourism Director Maggy Kriebel discussed the inaugural effort last Saturday during the tourism commission’s special called meeting Tuesday night.
Kriebel said that the effort involves running the trolley out to campground near Cumberland Falls and bringing them downtown, making a return trip later in the evening.
The current schedule has the trolley leaving downtown at 7 p.m. and arriving at the campground at 7:30 p.m. The riders are dropped off on Main Street. At 9:30 p.m., the trolley departs for the return trip.
“It is a service,” Kriebel said. “The viability comes from the tax revenue generated once they are in town.”
Kriebel said discussions about the partnership with Sheltowee Trace began over the winter. Through those discussions it was decided to run the trolley one weekend each month. With the moonbow at Cumberland Falls scheduled to be visible on weekends each month through October, it was decided to use those dates to pilot the program.
“It is a great relationship,” Kriebel said adding she expects to see ridership increase as the season progresses
Riders pay $5 for the roundtrip. Because of U.S. Department of Transportation regulations, all riders, no matter their age, are charged, including children and babies.
Kriebel, who regularly greets tour buses stopping Corbin, said she will be on hand to greet each trolley and tell the riders about some of what they will find downtown.
One area of pushback has been officials at Cumberland Falls State Park.
Kriebel said she has been in contact with park officials who have expressed concerns about the impact the trolley may have on business at the park restaurant.
As a result, city officials are working to draft a memorandum of understanding with the state that would expand the trolley service to bring riders from downtown to the park restaurant.
“They are a revenue producing facility, so they don’t want us shipping people out during dinnertime and not bringing people in,” Kriebel said.
If the route is expanded, Kriebel said it would probably not happen until 2020.
Kriebel said that if the venture proves unsustainable, there is nothing to prevent the city from ending it.
“There is no contractual agreement. It is something we wanted to try to see if it would be beneficial to both parties,” Kriebel said.
“The important part is that we took that step,” she said.