MSP tours temporarily canceled

Greg Kepner of Ottumwa, Iowa, walks past housing unit one’s empty cells while participating in a tour at the Missouri State Penitentiary.

Greg Kepner of Ottumwa, Iowa, walks past housing unit one’s empty cells while participating in a tour at the Missouri State Penitentiary.

Tours at the old Missouri State Penitentiary have been temporarily canceled as the state assesses site issues.

Ryan Burns, communications manager for the Jefferson City Convention and Visitors Bureau, said the tours have been canceled through Wednesday while “the property owners assess some site issues.”

MSP is owned by the state, with the Office of Administration providing oversight.

The CVB has been allowed to operate tours of the old prison site since 2009, expanding their tours in 2011.

Burns said she could not provide any specifics on the site issues being assessed, but noted that the date the tours will resume is subject to change. Burns said the statement was issued to staff Thursday, and the issues were not unexpected and had nothing to do with any emergency.

“I think that the property owners and ourselves, we’re always aware that it’s an old site,” Burns said. “We’re always highly aware of the conditions.”

The CVB is offering immediate refunds or a voucher for a future tour to all those already registered for a tour that has been canceled. Tours usually are operated through November, weather permitting.

Future updates will be provided at www.missouripentours.com/tours.php.

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