For the second straight month, there’s been a slight uptick in attendance at Ark Encounter compared to the same time the previous year.
The bottom line? Ark Encounter had 14,885 paying visitors in January. That’s slightly more than the 13,250 they had last January. The low overall number isn’t all that surprising given that it’s the middle of winter, which is bad for theme parks in general, but keep in mind that Creationist Ken Ham has also made a big deal about the new ice skating rink outside the boat. It’s unclear how many people visited the Ark for the skating and not so much to learn about Noah… but I find it hard to believe the rink is worth a mere 1,635 additional visitors.
Here are all the attendance numbers we know, along with the Safety Fee that Answers in Genesis has paid to the city of Williamstown. (The public nature of that fee is how we know the attendance numbers at all.)
|Month||2017 (Fee)||2018 (Fee)||2019 (Fee)||Notes|
|January||13,250 ($6,625.00)||14,885 ($7,442.50)||(Increase from previous year: 1,635)|
|July||142,626 ($71,313.00)||135,922 ($67,961.00)||(Drop from previous year: 6,704)|
|August||106,161 ($53,080.50)||98,106 ($49,053.00)||(Drop from previous year: 8,055)|
|September||83,330 ($41,665.00)||69,207 ($34,603.50)||(Drop from previous year: 14,123)|
|October||93,659 ($46,829.50)||89,434 ($44,717.00)||(Drop from previous year: 4,225)|
|November||51,914 ($25,957.00)||40,193 ($20,096.50)||(Drop from previous year: 11,721)|
|December||36,472 ($18,236.00)||46,400 ($24,200.00)||(Increase from previous year: 9,928)|
Ham may have forestalled another catastrophic drop, but it’s likely due to something that has nothing to do with interest in a biblical myth.
Once again, call it a temporary plug for the leaks in the Ark. If the skating rink is bringing in visitors, that won’t help them when the weather gets warmer. They’ll have to find another tourism magnet.
(Large portions of this article were published earlier)