On January 8, 2008 C.J. Summers, "The Peoria Chronicle", blogged some interesting figures concerning projected attendance of the planned new museum. In the nine museums the Museum Committee used as "Benchmarks Comparisons", only one, Louisville Science Center, Louisville, Kentucky, came close to the attendance projected by the Museum Committee consultants.
One, Exploration Place, Wichita, Kansas, population area 596,000, compared to Peoria, 371,000, showed a drop-off in attendance from 400,000 in opening year 2000 to 180,000 as last reported.
The consultants say that will not happen in Peoria because of the greater variety of of events and partners. It must be noted that with more partners means less space per partner. Also, bringing in more variety adds considerable to operating costs.
Unfortunately, projections in Peoria, starting with The Gateway Building, losing $500,000 a year to the expanded zoo now almost a year beyond the planned grand opening; a mailing went out recently appealing for $5 million more on top of the $10 million "borrowed" from the Zoological Society, and ending with the Peoria Playhouse originally slated to be open by now but still with less than 50% of the funds required.
No, consultants projections have not done well in the past 14 years or so in Peoria.
Consultants differ on the amount of "new" money the museum will bring in from approximately 2 million (a 2003 projection)to 14 million, (a 2002 projection).