Ruby Falls Expansion Welcomes Visitors
Home to the nation's tallest and deepest underground waterfall open to the public, Ruby Falls recently unveiled its new expansion designed by St. Louis-based PGAV Destinations, with fresh attractions and enhanced guest amenities.
The multimillion-dollar project, nearly a decade in the making, offers astounding views of the natural beauty of Lookout Mountain and Chattanooga. Guests will notice a new entrance and ticket atrium, retail venue, and pedestrian plaza.
Ruby Falls President Hugh Morrow said, “The rich history and legacy of Ruby Falls is the guiding concept for this project. “The addition creates opportunities for guests to exhale, relax, and connect with friends and family.”
Visitors to the Falls are welcomed through a new entrance and ticket atrium where they can purchase timed-entry tickets. This new system shortens wait-times and allows guests to enjoy all that Ruby Falls has to offer prior to their cave adventure. A grand Village Plaza invites guests to rest and socialize before exploring the other iconic and new attractions, such as the Blue Heron Overlook with breathtaking views of the valley, seasonal food carts, and the Village Gift Shop – complete with select gifts and keepsakes. With typical summer temperatures reaching the high 80s, guests will especially enjoy shaded open-air dining while appreciating all of the nearby natural wonders.
Welcoming more than half a million guests annually as it nears its second century of operation, Ruby Falls undertook more than 40 LEED initiatives in this recent renovation to complement its Green Globe Certification. Coming soon, the destination will receive its official LEED Certification for numerous environmentally sound innovations, including energy-efficient lighting and solar panels, low-flow plumbing and rainwater recycling, native plant landscaping and efficient construction recycling, and many more.
“The Ruby Falls project was a special combination of strategy, setting, and a vision to strengthen the connection to the next generation of visitors,” said Diane Lochner, PGAV Destinations vice president and project lead. “The endeavor has been a team effort to create a place of community, inspired by the powerful stories of Ruby Falls.”
With millions of annual visitors and more than a decade of state and local tax revenue exceeding $1 billion, tourism serves as the second largest industry in the state of Tennessee, and its impact on the region continues to grow. A key to Tennessee’s tourism value is the state’s authenticity and natural beauty, and Ruby Falls guarantees that promise with these new amenities and guest experiences. The team is currently exploring opportunities to further enhance the site with additional dining, vistas, and ways to celebrate the Chattanooga and the Ruby Falls story.
Click here to enjoy a four-minute mini-documentary showcasing the construction process and grand re-opening of Ruby Falls.
About PGAV Destinations
PGAV Destinations is a global leader in the planning and design of unique destinations. Now entering its sixth decade, the practice has evolved to become the ideal destination-consulting partner, skilled at developing growth-oriented master plans and translating those plans into successful projects. No other firm offers such an integrated approach to destination planning.
PGAV’s key clients include industry leaders such as Delaware North Companies, SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment, the Biltmore Companies, Bass Pro Shops, Ameristar Casinos, Universal Studios, The Gettysburg Foundation, the Saint Louis Zoo, and many others. Recent assignments include planning and design at many of the world’s “must see” destinations, including the Grand Canyon, Biltmore Estate, Space Shuttle Atlantis, Chimelong Ocean Kingdom, the Georgia Aquarium, the Hoover Dam, and SeaWorld Adventure Parks. www.PGAVDestinations.com
About Ruby Falls
Celebrating its 88th year as a destination inspiring exploration, Ruby Falls is home to the tallest and deepest underground waterfall open to the public in the United States. Over half a million guests visit the thundering waterfall annually, located 1,120 feet beneath the surface of Lookout Mountain in Chattanooga, Tenn. Guided tours explore the cavern trail and ancient geological formations. Sweeping views of the Tennessee Valley are abundant from historic Lookout Mountain Tower, Blue Heron Overlook and the Ruby Falls Village Plaza. Committed to cave conservation and environmental sustainability, Ruby Falls is the first attraction in the United States to earn certification from Green Globe and is recognized as a leader in tourism sustainability. www.RubyFalls.com