Monday, June 10, 2013


What did the Kansas Underground Salt Museum do?  They Stratacized!

To Stratacize means to be bold and daring.  No, you won't find "stratacize" in the dictionary but it should be.  With an intrepid manner, the board and staff just up and changed their name.

They (board, staff and marketing company) didn't think that the name "Kansas Underground Salt Museum" was doing justice to the amazing experience one can have down under.  There really was nothing wrong with the original name.  The museum is underground (amazing).  It is about salt (a story rarely told).  It is in Kansas.  Still, there was that little word at the end, "museum."  That's what prompted the change.

Times have changed.  Museums once saved the day by collecting artifacts and telling their story.  Some places do it beautifully and much can be seen and learned.  Unfortunately, not all museums have the budget or resources to bring the best out of a collection of artifacts.  Rather than fight the stereotype, this place that is as much an adventure as a place to see and learn, took action.  They "stratacized."

First, you don a hard helmet and get in a dark elevator and plunge 650 feet down.  For over two minutes you go down.  Where else can you do that?

You come out of the elevator and you are surrounded by solid salt walls!  Even the walls and ceiling are the real thing.

After walking by exhibits, you come to a tram area.  This is where you can jump aboard and take a "dark ride" to see and learn.  It's called the dark ride because at times you are moving along in complete darkness. That was what miners experienced at times.  And, yes, before you, miners were down there in the exact same area dynamiting the salt and sending it to the surface.  You are seeing the result of this, right there in a mine!

You can also ride a train.  It's actually feels more like riding along on old-fashioned school desk seats pulled by a miniature locomotive.  You're on actual track used by the miners.  It's just hard to fathom that you are in a mine and that somewhere further down the line, actual mining is still going on at the same level.

You see things left by the miners.  Even vehicles were let down into the mine by a hoist but nothing was ever really taken back up -- except the salt.

There is no doubt that the salt museum is a tremendous venue to visit.  In every way, it deserves its status as one of the 8 Wonders of Kansas.  Come on, it's the only underground salt museum in the western hemisphere!

But let's get back to the name.


What a fearless move.

Not everyone will like this.  It's audacious, it's gutsy -- and it's the right thing to have done.  This incredible experience deserves an all-out effort to attract an audience that wants adventure, wants to learn, wants to be treated to something they won't forget.  The name carries expectations with it and the ground down under does not disappoint.

With the new name, the staff is energized and feeling more playful and fun.  The name removes boundaries of making this attraction one of the best there is.

A place in Kansas did this.  Dull and boring?  Not at Strataca.  No way.

They've stepped out on a limb to give this solid, salty gal what she deserves.  No settling.  No tepidness.  Just all out going for it.  Strataca!  YES!

Views of Kansas Explorer #2 Marci Penner and how she Gets Kansas.