Well, I’m glad to hear that the Creation Museum and the proposed “Ark Encounter” park are going to financial hell, but it was predictable given the limited audience, the high ticket prices, and the sophistication of foreign visitors who don’t want to shell out $30 to see a bunch of lies. The audience is dwindling, and even a creationist probably wouldn’t want to visit the Museum more than once.
According to WCPO.com:
HEBRON, Ky. – The Creation Museum in Northern Kentucky is adding several new attractions this summer in hopes of pulling in new customers who are not as likely to come for the museum itself.
“The whole purpose of the new attractions is to bring repeat customers in and also to attract new people to the museum,” said Mike Zovath, Cofounder and Vice President of the museum.
One addition is a zip line and sky bridge course set to open in mid-June.
The course will feature at least 20 zip lines and 10 sky bridges to become the biggest course in the Midwest.
“I think it’s going to be a big draw for people who might not be interested in the Creation Museum but they have zip lines on their bucket lists,” Zovath said.
The museum hopes the zip lining customers will then be interested enough to take a look inside the building as well.
Tickets to the museum are priced at $30 while a full zip-lining course will cost $89. Zovath said they are offering zip lining plus museum entry for a discounted $99.
The Creation Museum has also added a Dragon Legends exhibit and a high-tech display named “Dr. Crawley’s Insectorium.”
The dragon exhibit explores eight legends in a festive environment, Zovath said.
Dr. Crawley’s Insectorium is a $50,000 to $60,000 display of bugs collected over a 30-year period.
As Mark Joseph Stern wrote in Slate on Darwin Day (Feb. 12) of this year:
But there’s trouble in Ham’s creationist paradise. In 2012, the Creation Museum reported a 10 percent decline in attendance from the previous year, and its parent group, Answers in Genesis, posted a 5 percent drop in revenue. That continues a four-year slump and a new low for the museum at 280,000 total visitors last year. Even more ominously, fundraising for the Ark Encounter has slowed to a crawl. Its future is further imperiled by the decline of the Creation Museum, whose visitors were expected to be a huge source of funding for the ark park. As of January, Ham had failed to raise even half the money required to build the ark replica itself, let alone the rest of the park. To help out, you can buy a peg, a blank, or even a beam for $100, $500, and $1,500, respectively—but seeing as the fate of the ark is in serious jeopardy, is a free pass to the grand opening really worth the risk?
. . . A spectacle like the Creation Museum has a pretty limited audience. Sure, 46 percent of Americans profess to believe in creationism, but how many are enthusiastic enough to venture to Kentucky to spend nearly $30 per person to see a diorama of a little boy palling around with a vegetarian dinosaur? The museum’s target demographic might not be eager to lay down that much money: Belief in creationism correlates to less education, and less education correlates to lower income. Plus, there’s the possibility of just getting bored: After two pilgrimages to the museum, a family of four would have spent $260 to see the same human-made exhibits and Bible quote placards. Surely even the most devoted creationists would consider switching attractions for their next vacation. A visit to the Grand Canyon could potentially be much cheaper—even though it is tens of millions of years old.
Like good theologians, the is making a virtue of necessity. As HuffPo reported on Wednesday:
In an email to the Huffington Post, Zovath elaborated on the logic behind the expansion:
It is a good reason for youth groups and corporate groups to meet and use the museum for their outings. We will do some nature trail teaching from the actual trails, and identify tree species, and other flora in the area as well as some fauna making them very educational. We wanted to give guests another good reason to plan a visit to the museum.. . . The push to diversify also includes a flashy new “Dragons Legends exhibit and a high-tech display named ‘Dr. Crawley’s Insectorium,’” involving a $50,000-odd display of bugs collected over a 30 year span, reports ABC. Though these additions aren’t explicitly creationist, Zovath insists “the message stays the same…whether it’s bugs, dinosaurs or dragons – it all fits with God’s word.”
With respect to the theological view of the question; this is always painful to me.— I am bewildered.— I had no intention to write atheistically. But I own that I cannot see, as plainly as others do, & as I shd wish to do, evidence of design & beneficence on all sides of us. There seems to me too much misery in the world. I cannot persuade myself that a beneficent & omnipotent God would have designedly created the Ichneumonidæ with the express intention of their feeding within the living bodies of caterpillars, or that a cat should play with mice. (Darwin to Asa Gray, 22 May 1860).