How A Town Used Guinness World Records To Save Itself
Casey, Illinois, was in a tough place. Like many other small towns, Casey was seeing a decline in its population; businesses were on the verge of closing, and no one was visiting because they didn't have much to offer. Then residents had an idea. They were going to get Casey on the map by making it into the Guinness World Records. Casey was going to get big.
Not the town itself, of course. The town continues to be small, but what's big is everything in it. Casey, which is quirkily pronounced "Kay-Zee," is currently home to 12 objects that are designated by Guinness World Records as the biggest in the world. It used to be 14, but someone else took the crown for the largest knitting needle and crochet hook. The world of records is brutal.
Most of the record-setting objects are centered around downtown Casey, and they include a rocking chair that is more than 56 feet tall, a giant golf club (with a golf tee elsewhere in town), and a pair of clogs. The wind chime, constructed in 2012, is a particularly popular Casey attraction, no doubt in part because the 42-foot chimes actually make a sound.
You can't get a Guinness World Record unless your giant thing can perform the function expected of that object, which helps keep the novelty of the town's collection of giants alive. The giant mailbox features a door that opens, which is a neat visual on its own. It also allows the mailbox to receive mail, qualifying it as an actual mailbox.
Having an ever-growing collection of super-sized things has not only gotten Casey into the record books; it also has brought in visitors. Casey has seen a massive increase in tourism, as people stop and walk around and take selfies with the rocking chair or wind chimes. New businesses have also opened, so the plan has been a legitimate success.
Casey isn't content to settle for what they have either. Earlier this year, a giant Pokéball was completed; it isn't a record holder, but hey, it gives visitors another reason to come back. Besides, who doesn't appreciate seeing abnormally large versions of regular things?
Top Image: Coasterlover1994/Wiki Commons