JEFFERSON CITY - The old Missouri State Penitentiary exceeded expectations with more than 19,000 people exploring the museum in the past year. Tour attendance has increased every year since the penitentiary began doing tours in 2009. In 2012, 19,121 visitors toured the historic penitentiary.
Jefferson City Convention and Visitors Bureau Communications Manager Ryan Winkler-Burns said, "We have a very unique site here in Jefferson City. It's historical in nature, people are interested in learning about the history and it also plays into the current trends. We offer ghost tours and paranormal investigations."
In March, prison tours came to a halt due to construction, but the numbers still exceeded the numbers from the year before. Officials said the popularity of the prison tours is growing and it's a great way to bring people to Jefferson City from around the world.
Winkler-Burns said, "A number of them are from outside our community, outside our state and even outside our country. So, with us expanding the reach of the Missouri State Penitentiary to people all across the country and all across the world we are also increasing the interest in mid Missouri and Jefferson City."
Officials say they hope the museum will bring more people downtown.
For more information about the Missouri State Penitentiary tours visit www.MissouriPenTours.com or call (866)998-6998.