Creation Museum: Attendance is Dropping and They Can’t Raise Enough Funding for Ark Park July 5, 2012

Creation Museum: Attendance is Dropping and They Can’t Raise Enough Funding for Ark Park

The Creation Museum had big plans to build Ark Encounter, a theme park for Creationists…

… but it looks like they’ve hit a snag with funding. That’s not the only bad news for them, either:

The group initially announced that it expected to break ground on the park in 2011, before eventually pushing that date back to 2014. But in June, in an interview in the Creation Museum’s “Noah’s Cafe,” Ark Encounter vice president Michael Zovath told Yahoo News that the group no longer has a date in mind for the construction to begin. It has been unable to raise sufficient amounts of money, despite pleas to the Creation Museum’s visitors to donate to the project.

“Fundraising is really tough,” Zovath said, blaming the recession. “It’s not moving so fast as we hoped.” The private LLC that is building the park would need to raise another $20 million before it can break ground, he said. So far, it’s taken in $5.6 million in donations and $17 million in private investments.

To add to the bad news, the Creation Museum is having its lowest attendance year yet. Last fiscal year, 280,000 people visited, compared to 404,000 the first year it opened in 2007. Zovath thinks that potential visitors have been less willing to travel to the museum because of the poor economy.

You know, it’s also possible that all of us who wanted to visit the museum to see the kind of nonsense it parades have already seen it and we don’t have any urge to go back for more.

So the further dumbing down of children, courtesy of the Creation Museum, has been temporarily stalled. Finally, an upside to a bad economy.

(Thanks to @Jason_Hoover for the link!)

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Aaron Scoggin

    Well, nothing left to do but ask the taxpayers for money. I’m sure it’ll be alright. -_-;

  • Not very creative, if you ask me. Heck, for just a few bucks at the hobby store they could add a Lock Ness Monster exhibit. A quick trip to the costume store… Bigfoot!

    I work at a museum, and one key to keeping people coming back is changing some of the exhibits.

  • Hemant, do you know if this is the first year they have had a significant decline in attendance or has there been a steady decline. I look forward to when you announce their declaration of bankruptcy.

  • Petersburg, KY isn’t exactly a target destination for most folks.  Should of built it in Orlando.  

  • This reminds me of Oral Roberts’ hospital in Tulsa (I just finished Randi’s *The Faith Healers.*)  Could the next step be God’s revelation to Ken Ham that he’s one dead mofo unless the faithful raise the millions by, say, Christmas?

  • ortcutt

    An adult ticket to the Creation Museum is $29.95.  Children 5-12 are $15.95.  A family of four would need to pay $95.80 to go there.  How many people do they think are going to go there to see a bunch of dioramas more than once?   

    By comparison, the world-class Columbus Zoo is $14.99 general admission, $9.99 for children 2-9.  Even if you have older children, you’re still only spending $60, and you get to see actual living animals, not dioramas and propaganda.

    Is there any wonder that this place is failing?

  • Unsure… I think they only release numbers when they’re happy about them so this is the first time I’ve heard of a decline.

  • Jim Valentine

     And one of the things that religion is bad at is changing anything.

  • At least in the Flying Spaghetti Monster Museum there’d be lots and lots of pasta…

  • fett101

    They’d never agree to a slow gradual change of exhibits.

    It’s gotta be one big construction project at a time or nothing at all.

  • Ericemerick

    Most of the museums in DC are free. We even have an awesome free zoo!

  • MyScienceCanBeatUpYourGod

    Noah’s a great character from a classic literary work of fiction that has delighted kids for centuries; but in this day and age, he just can’t compete with Spiderman and Harry Potter.

  • Patterrssonn

    I don’t know he just seemed grumpy and weird to me when I was a kid. And the ark vs thunderbird 3? No comparison.

  • Dawny229

    This type of thing might actually be another symptom of a growing problem in the evangelical movement…it’s been losing members in recent years.  Young people under the age of thirty are bailing on their churches at the highest rate.  The problem is being acknowledged by the evangelical community through the publication of several books documenting the phenomenon.  Some of the largest reasons being given for leaving the churches has been…”religion is anti-gay”..religion is “anti-science”..and an inability to reconcile the principles of one’s faith with the reality of living in a larger, diverse community.

  • Blanc_Slate

    Makes me kinda glad the creation museum exists: to show the folly in believing the idea it promotes.

  • Dawny229

     Well, I suppose Ken Ham could always chain himself on top of one of his dinosaur models and tell everyone that unless he gets the money for his ark project..god will “take him home”

  • kenneth

    This is heartening. It suggests that there are limits to American’s stupidity and gullibility. If we think of ignorance as an abundant, but finite, natural resource, perhaps this is akin to “peak oil.” We may be turning a corner!

  • There actually is a “Loch Ness monster” exhibit in the local museum where I grew up. It’s called an elasmosaurus. 

  • DaveDodo007

    Yay! Lets promote the fact that our god is a genocidal maniac including all land breathing animals except for the occupants of a small wooden boat. Go god:-)

  • We can only hope.

  • Rebecca

    Maybe they could pray for the creation museum to be flooded so they could justify the need for the ark? Win-win.

  • I didn’t even think of that.  This like having a wacky volcano theme park next to Pompeii or a park based on WWII role-playing and simulations at Hiroshima with a franchise coming soon at Auschwitz.

  • I work in a museum that would give anything for Ham’s current numbers. But we’re in a small city and we’re doing okay despite the economy. Our numbers are up 22% from last year.

    Our general admission is $7.00 for adults and $5.00 for kids. We also have a planetarium with an additional charge of $3.00. So if a family of four comes in for everything, they’re only out $36.00. We also open two days each month with free admission.

    We are constantly changing our exhibits and programs to keep it fresh and interesting for our visitors. We’re also in the midst of a good sized expansion that will give us a new environmental studies center. It’s not a $40 million theme park but it will give us new facilities where we can teach science.

  • Spherical Basterd

    They already did in the form of a large tax abatement.

  • Sheila G

    Ah!  Explains the dinosaur billboard that went up recently in Oklahoma City, at the Junction of I-44 & I-35. 

  • Julie Reizner

     The Cincinnati Zoo is way closer to this monstrosity, and is also excellent.  Not to the mention the Cincinnati Museum Center and the Newport Aquarium – all of which are much cheaper.

     This is what happens when your exhibits never change because you aren’t doing science.

  • I suppose it’s a good thing this isn’t happening.  Could you imagine the freaky coincidence of a bunch of attendees drowning in the water park’s malfunctioning wave pool?

  • MNK

    Zovath thinks that potential visitors have been less willing to travel to the museum because of the poor economy.”  …. And that would be directly linked to the fact that the vast majority of people who would actually want to see your museum (and believe its lies) are people who are poorly educated in general. If they’re not already out of work and searching, they’re in jobs that pay garbage and have little to no opportunity for salary advances. That’s what opposing education will get you.

  • MNK

    By comparison, the world-class Columbus Zoo is $14.99 general admission, $9.99 for children 2-9.  Even if you have older children, you’re still only spending $60, and you get to see actual living animals, not dioramas and propaganda.”…. Not to mention, most zoos and museums participate in reciprocal membership arrangements, so by forking over an extra $20 or so instead of paying for single-visit admission, you get a membership for the family that’s good at numerous places. Win.

  • You know, real museums update what they have every few months to keep it fresh, and they also keep up with new science and findings as much as possible.  How exactly does a Creation “museum” keep up with new findings and change what it has?  

    Oh, it can’t.  

  • JD929

     There is no “peak stupid”.

  • Free Zoo? Mate if I had one of those in my town I would never get to work or school? 

  • Aaron Scoggin

    Yeah, really. “Hey, where are you going on vacation to?” “Oh, we’re going to Kentucky!”

    Can you imagine?

  • Hellar420


  • OregoniAn

      What..? You expect them to “evolve”? They’re not too big on that word  =)

  • Iamsmalfry

    I think the lord forgit he already had a project going — since 1976. Btw, it still sits tjere a steel structure.

  •  And you could always have, like, a pasta buffet or something that’s FSM-themed. Shit, I’d go just for THAT.

  • *snicker*

  • Yikes!  They’d charge my family $136 per day (and that’s only admission!)  For that money, I’d better not walk away frustrated at being lied to all day.
    We paid that much to spend a day at the College of Curiosity, which was held at the City Museum in St. Louis.  My son and I spent all day at the C of C doing cool science stuff and my wife and the other two sons played in the museum all day.  There are no exhibits at the City Museum that you can’t climb in, on, under or around and play with . . . it’s all slides, rollers, tunnels, pipes, chutes, caves, trees, crafts, and then there’s the giant outdoor three-story playground and the old (actual) school bus and airplane mounted a few stories in the air that the kids can climb up to and play in . . . .and the carnival and water stuff on the roof.  
    Comparing that to the Creation Museum would be ridiculous, but I guess I just did.

    Hell, for that money, if you want to teach your kids how creationism works, take ’em to the beach.  Point at the ocean and tell ’em, “See, Johnny?  Tide goes in, tide goes out, and it never messes up.  You can’t explain that!”  Done.  Kid’s a believer and Bob’s your uncle.

  • Certainly not among Xtians….

  • frankeinstein

    Yes but your investments are smaller ! If Disney World did that little it would close in a second.
    I really hope that this none-science museum will close as soon as possible.

  • Frankeinstein

    Can I ride his holy noodle ?

  • Piet

     I actually got the chills reading this.

  • Sindigo

    They clearly aren’t praying hard enough.

  • Sindigo

    I watched the video. Favourite quote: “Two weeks later he’d made us the biggest hole you’ve ever seen.”

    I’ll be the judge of that.

  • Firechild

    so did I…the humour is not missed though… :S

  • Chris G

    The creation “museum” is the best thing to happen to atheists in 100 years. Nothing like a scale model of stupidity to really help people see it for what it really is: nonsense!

  • Sware

    And just like every other religious monstrosity, I can’t help but think that there are hundreds if not thousands of other ways to use that knid of money to do something truly positive in the world. “They’ll know we are Christians by our love,” message not working out so well or something?

  • matt

     I’m from St Louis and I too love the city museum.  We have an awesome zoo too!

  • Why don’t they just ask God to lend a hand?

  • Allen

    I kinda wish they COULD build a full-scale ark so that people could see with their own eyes how impossible it would be to get so many animals (not to mention a year+ of supplies and food–some of which would have to include even more animals).


  • Cthulhu

    Hmm.  Wonder why Jesus isn’t providing?

  • or at least the insurance payout?

  • I am most concerned about the fate of the animals that would be displayed at any ark exhibit.   For starters, it might be hard to find any actual zoologists willing to work there.  No way would animals be treated well by people who think the planet is a non-recyclable container.

  • DakotaMark

     The Invisible Pink Unicorn Museum would attract lots of children and the displays would cost nothing. Admission could be free and the sales of pink cotton candy and overpriced plush pink unicorns would surely meet all expenses and provide a nice profit. No complicated noodly appendages to build.

  • DakotaMark

     If I were a bit grumpier I’d ask kids about the Noah story. Questions would include:

    How many puppy dogs did Noah take on the ark?

    How many kittens did Noah take on the ark?

    How many little boys and girls did Noah take on the ark?

    I think the kid’s grins would turn to frowns when they learned the answer to number three.

  • Sounds like a Kickstarter!

  • Hell yeah! Oh how I miss the Smithsonian museums!

  • Yup, the National Zoo! 

  • Amanda

     The museum is soliciting Michigan’s tourist dollars too.  A dinosaur billboard went up in my neighborhood.  As far as I can tell no one here is talking about it, although they probably should given the amount of attention paid to last year’s CFI billboard.  The two locations are only about 2 miles apart.

  • Beth

    I’m embarrassed as a Kentuckian that we subsidized this place.

  • People with their heads buried in the sand don’t get out much. No wonder they have so few visitors!

  • I have an idea how they can fund this.  They need to team up with the Jews and Muslims.  Their combined resources and customer base would surely make this economically feasible.

    It could also be much more exciting with things like a Crusade-land section where there are Christians pretending to slaughter Muslims.  Make a good show of it!  And there could be a “spot the bomber” completions where the first guest to identify the Muslim staff member with a fake bomb inside their uniform gets a free ham sandwich with a Kosher pickle.  There’s a million things you could do with this to keep it exciting.  Even sell those funky jew hats with the curls on the side.  Kids loves that stuff.

  •  It’s obviously a test.  Unless he does come through in the end, in which case it’s a “sign”.  Either way, Jesus is proving he’s real.

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