"To ensure its financial health, the Creation Museum raised admission prices on July 1, (2012) to $29.95 for adults, up from $24.95."
The Creation Museum opened its doors to the public on Memorial Day (May 28) 2007. Not long after that, a family from my church made the 530+ mile trek from Raleigh, North Carolina to Petersburg, Kentucky, where the 60,000 sq. ft. facility is located. They were among the 404,000 visitors during the first year of operation. The $27 million museum was funded through private donations, and it's likely that many who bankrolled Ken Ham's dream came to the Creation Museum to experience it for themselves. What has happened to the attendance numbers since then?
Last year CityBeat published an article entitled Creation Museum Attendance Drops for Fourth Straight Year, highlighting what appears to be a downward trend. According to the article:
The Creation Museum in Petersburg, Ky., created quite an uproar in 2007 when it opened with exhibits showing early humans co-existing with dinosaurs. Five years later, the public fascination with that take on paleoanthropology seems to be fading.
This week, the museum told CityBeat that attendance for the year ended June 30 came to 254,074. That amounts to a 10 percent drop from last year’s 282,000 and is the museum’s fourth straight year of declining attendance and its lowest annual attendance yet. The $27 million museum drew 404,000 in its first year and just over 300,000 each of the next two.
Apparently, museum officials have not been all that concerned because attendance exceeded the estimated 250,000 by over 4,000 in 2012.
The CityBeat article goes on to state:
On its 2011 federal income tax return, Answers in Genesis reported a 5 percent drop in museum revenue to $5.1 million. Worse, AIG slumped to its first-ever financial loss — $540,218. As of deadline for CityBeat’s print edition, AIG hadn’t provided financial results for fiscal 2012, which ended June 30. Zovath said the museum itself isn’t losing money.
To ensure its financial health, the Creation Museum raised admission prices on July 1, to $29.95 for adults, up from $24.95.
I don't know about you, but I believe the admission price, PLUS travel, lodging, meals, etc., make such a trip cost-prohibitive for many families. One has to wonder whether the Duggars paid the admission fee when they visited.
Recently, Tim Challies published a post entitled Why I Am a Six-Day Creationist, which mentions his recent visit to the Creation Museum. It was his first time, and he spent a couple of days speaking at a conference held there. That post has generated quite a few comments, as you might imagine. We are left wondering how much he was paid to speak and whether he self-promoted while there.
And today Challies has given another shout-out to the Creation Museum in his post Worshipping at the Creation Museum. Here he raves about the planetarium:
Of all the exhibits I saw there, the one I may have enjoyed most was the planetarium. The planetarium is a state-of-the-art theater that allows you to recline and gaze up into “space.” The presentation there is meant to display just some of the beauty and vastness of space and in it all to display the obvious hand of a designer who means to make a statement about himself (and, by comparison, to make a statement about us as well).
What is it with all these infomercials?
It has been fascinating to watch the Creation Museum's latest strategies for attracting visitors. For example, last June it added a zip line. Just two months later a worker tending to the zip line was struck by lightning. Fortunately, he sustained only minor injuries. An insect exhibit has also been added. It will be interesting to see what happens to the attendance numbers in the years to come. Has the Creation Museum reached a saturation point?
In case you're not familiar with Ken Ham who heads up Answers in Genesis and the Creation Museum, you might benefit from watching this CBN interview which aired prior to the museum's opening.
And here is an interesting introduction to the Creation Museum.
We will continue to monitor the situation. In the meantime, have any of you been to the Creation Museum, and what were your impressions?
Lydia's Corner: Job 12:1-15:35 1 Corinthians 15:29-58 Psalm 39:1-13 Proverbs 21:30-31