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.
They blamed the economy and gas prices. And they could be right. Another example is given in this piece of a subsidized museum that is also losing money. Many tourists attractions can likely say the same. I see a few things could be occurring – the initial flush of novelty has worn off, people have seen it already so attendance will NATURALLY drop after the first few years. What would be more significant is if visitors held steady. Or went up as the economy improves. That would show that the are a sustainable draw. How many people visit as a joke? How many people would come again? Do they have the money to keep the place new and interesting? All questions that will affect its future.