Here’s an interesting tidbit when it comes to Ark Encounter.
We recently reported that the official paid attendance from October was 89,434. As always, we noted that this number is the one reported by Ark Encounter to Williamstown officials as a way to calculate the Safety Fee owed to the city. It does not include children under 5, who get in for free, or lifetime members who no longer have to pay admission.
Now check out what Ken Ham is thankful for today (emphasis his):
Thousands of Ark Encounter and Creation Museum guests daily. Every day we’re seeing thousands of guests at the Ark and the museum. These individuals and families from across the world have now heard the message of the gospel and biblical authority! Even last month (October is not a typical vacation month), we welcomed over 100,000 guests at the Ark! What an incredible spiritual impact!
So he welcomed over 100,000 guests… even though under 90,000 paid to get in. By his own reported numbers, we’re talking more than 10,000 people who came in at no cost. That’s 10,000 people who didn’t count toward the Safety Fee. Hell, if they visited Ark Encounter for the food — they have a huge family-friendly kitchen — then they also didn’t spend money to eat in the surrounding area.
Ham has also been talking up the ice skating rink, which makes it even more likely that some visitors aren’t even stepping foot inside the boat. How many of these guests are actually visiting to learn Christian revisionist history? And if, say, tens of thousands of people are visiting Ark Encounter for the ice skating, then what does it really say about the Ark’s ability to draw a curious crowd?
That said, other theme parks give away free tickets, too. The only reason I bring it up here is because there’s a discrepancy between the numbers Ken Ham loves to brag about — “over 100,000 guests” — and the ones he reports to government officials. Since Ham’s entire career is built on spreading false numbers, I’m inclined to take the reported numbers far more seriously as an indication of the health of the attraction.
(Thanks to Kerri for the link)