Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Museums - Declining Attendance Nationally

"It's Universal-Museums Can't Stop Expanding" was an article appearing in the WSJ in 3/7/2005. A year later, the PRM Committee launched a fund raising drive, then another in 2007 and the latest one in 2008 all failing. (May 2008, $17.2 million pledged including Caterpillar, Inc.}

"Seattle's Bellevue Art Museum closed three years after opening. One of two Guggenheim Las Vegas branches suffered a similar fate. Attendance at most museums hasn't been near what it was at the height of the museum boom, hence the Mayor of Tampa's demand late last year that the trustees of the new art museum, which the city is partially underwriting, certify that it will stay in the black even if visitorship fall way below projections."

It did if you have read about it lately. Museums are losing attendance and sponsorships from Toronto to Tampa. The article continues, "if-you-build-it-they-will stampede on which museums have predicated their operations for the last three decades. Could it be that people are finding other things to do with their time.

Every business sector goes through cycles and their is no reason to believe that museums are an exception. Museum demand slackening may already be here."

In Peoria, sure, sports events, but don't count on hundreds of thousands coming to see the hear about the past performances of Illinois athletes. People today, especially young people, are seeking action. Look at the show being shown in the movie theatres, on computers, uTube and on TV.

Nor are they going to come in droves to see the African-American exhibits. They are sitting basically unseen now at a locked up Proctor Center Museum.

If this museum opens and closes, not only will the bondholders be stuck, so will Peoria County with a money losing white elephant on the riverfront.



Anonymous said...

As you continue to fill your depends over this museum thing, one can only hope your opposition is as successful as was your opposititon to the Riverplex, downtown stadium and every other fine development you oppose.

Merle Widmer said...

My stock in ther downtown ballpark, which is a fine ballpark, is still for sale. Maybe you would like to buy naming rights to the ballpark as I note by today's JS the Chiefs are still looking for a partner for naming rights since the O'Brien deal expired last fall.

I also note that the PPD raised fees. They also cut services to the tune of $390,000 for the remainder of the year. Prudent moves, of course, considering that Peoria's economy "is holding up well" as some say.

Does your company know you are reading my blogs at 10:30 in the morning?


Anonymous said...

Wow. The first anonymous left a pretty nasty message. And a nasty message was written in response.

I have two questions:

How are IMAX theaters doing in the recession?

Why does the nomuseumtax website not mention the amount of the proposed tax anywhere on the site?

And, yes, though I post anonymously, I am aware that you can see my ip address through counter statistics.

C. J. Summers said...

Anonymous asks, "Why does the nomuseumtax website not mention the amount of the proposed tax anywhere on the site?"

It does. From day one it had it right on the front page -- "On April 7, 2009, voters who live in Peoria County will decide whether to approve a .25% sales tax increase for public facilities purposes"