Thursday, December 12, 2013

Creation Museum Not Charging Admission For Children Under 13 in 2014

The AP is reporting that the Creation Museum in Petersburgh, KY, run by Ken Ham, is not going to be charging admission for children the entire 2014 calendar year.  From the story:
The free admission to the Creation Museum is for children 12 and under and lasts the entire year.

In an online posting, museum co-founder Ken Ham says the offer is part of the museum's "Standing Our Ground — Rescuing Our Kids" theme.

Since it opened in 2007, the museum has drawn criticism for exhibits that scientists say contradict evolution science.

Ham says the museum has collected about $225,000 in child ticket admissions in 2013, so the offer "is going to significantly impact our bottom line." But Ham said he is hopeful that private donations would fill the gap.

Children must be accompanied by one paying adult.
The somewhat more jaded among us also note that the museum has had flagging attendance the last few years and that this may be a means of trying to boost that. This sort of thing is a common way to get people in the door—restaurants often have "kids eat free" days—and often will bring up profits and raise visibility despite the loss of revenue from the move.  Revenue for the museum was 5.1 million dollars in 2012, in a year in which they actually took a loss for the first time.  Assuming a status quo in revenue, $225, 000 represents 4.4% of the take, so it is not an insignificant amount.  Private donations have been drying up, which is why the construction of the Ark-n-Park is in jeopardy. The issuance of junk bonds for it and this move for the museum, itself, are risky. 

I would like to ascribe the lofty motives that Mr. Ham to the fee waiver and I hope they are purer than they look on the surface.  On the surface, it looks like they are trying to stop the bleeding. 

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