Hutchinson Vision becomes reality on Tuesday when the Kansas Underground Salt Museum opens to the public, offering visitors a 650-foot descent into a world by turns sparkling and dim.
It's an attraction that officials expect will draw 100,000 visitors by the end of the year, and more than 3,200 people have already signed up for 77 tours in May.
Salt has been mined in Hutchinson for more than a century, and talk of creating a salt museum dates back to at least 1959.
A fundraising campaign began about seven years ago, but the terrorist attacks of 2001 and the souring economy derailed plans to open the museum by 2004. Instead, ground was broken that year for the project.
The official grand opening of the $10.5 million museum is still more than a year away, but many exhibits are complete and ready for viewing.