A treasure trove of space artifacts

Friday, May 14, 1999

The world's largest collection of space suits can be found at the one of the state's top tourist attractions -- the Kansas Cosmosphere & Space Center in Hutchinson.

"We have the Apollo 13 and a lot of Russian space artifacts," said Karen Siebert, Cosmosphere marketing coordinator. "We are very fortunate to be a one-of-a-kind, world-class facility."

More than 380,000 people toured the Cosmosphere in 1998 compared to 315,000 in 1997.

The Cosmosphere is just one of several key components for drawing tourists to Hutchinson.

Tourism in Hutchinson and South Hutchinson generated $20.3 million in direct income last year, according to the Kansas State Department of Revenue.

"Overall, we had 1.5 million visitors," said Oliva Hecker, director of Greater Hutchinson Convention/Visitors Bureau. "Not bad for a community our size and not on a major corridor."