Abstract

ABSTRACT:

Hutchinson, Kansas, is among the places most widely associated with salt mining in the United States. Lying above vast halite deposits laid down by an ancient Permian sea, the century-long association with this important economic mineral has earned Hutchinson the nickname "Salt City." Located more than 200 m (650 ft) below Hutchison is Strataca: Kansas Underground Salt Museum, the only underground salt mine available for tourists to visit in the country. Strataca receives approximately 50,000 annual visitors, making it a significant regional tourist attraction. Operated in cooperation between the local historical society and an active salt mining company working in nearby shafts, Strataca offers a distinctive geotourism and industrial heritage tourism experience in the Great Plains. By considering the interpretive material at Strataca and the representation of the museum in user-generated content (UGC) reviews on a prominent travel website, TripAdvisor, this study demonstrates the value of a mixed-methods approach. Interpretive material included in signs, videos, and narrated tours and the UGC are analyzed for recurring themes and notable absences. The discussed themes include geology, mining methods, and working in the mine.

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Additional Information

ISSN
2334-2463
Print ISSN
1052-5165
Pages
pp. 137-151
Launched on MUSE
2019-10-24
Open Access
No
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