Ken Ham Predicts More Ark Visitors

This is about the Ark Encounter project, a theme park under construction in northern Kentucky, promoted by Answers in Genesis (AIG), the creationist ministry of Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo) — the Australian entrepreneur who has become the ayatollah of Appalachia, famed for the infamous, mind-boggling Creation Museum.

Hambo’s outfit is currently embroiled in litigation with the State of Kentucky over AIG’s application to receive millions in sales tax rebates. The last time we wrote about that was Ken Ham’s Litigation: Americans United Joins In. But we don’t have any news about the lawsuit for you. Ol’ Hambo has just posted this: Ark Encounter Estimated to Attract at Least 1.4 Million in First Year. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:

I have some breaking news for you!

Wowie — what’s the news? Here it comes:

We are now revealing the results of a new study conducted by the highly respected America’s Research Group (ARG). It estimates the number of Americans who might visit the life-size Noah’s Ark attraction the first year it opens in northern Kentucky in 2016. As a result of ARG’s general population study, our projected attendance for year one at the Ark Encounter has increased. ARG originally predicted 1.2 million minimum in its 2008 study. Its new study predicts at least 1.4 million (and up to as many as 2.2 million)!

The research group is ARG? That’s an unfortunate set of initials for this blog. As our regular readers know, when your Curmudgeon is confronted with a claim we find particularly … ah, difficult to accept, our usual response is Aaaargh!! If that happens here, we hope there’s no confusion.

By now you’re wondering: Why do we care about this new prediction? Well, we don’t, not really, but Hambo’s post has some fun moments, so stay with us. He says:

ARG is a renowned consumer behavior research and strategic consulting firm led by Britt Beemer ( He is the same man who predicted that 400,000 visitors would tour our Creation Museum during the first year, and 404,000 turned out!

There’s something else about Mr. Beemer that you may find interesting. Although Hambo doesn’t mention it, one of our clandestine operatives told us that Beemer and Hambo have a closer relationship than pollster and client. We were informed that they co-authored a book together. We checked the Amazon site and sure enough, they’re both listed as authors of Already Gone: Why your kids will quit church and what you can do to stop it.

Is that important? Probably not. An honorable pollster, which we assume Mr. Beemer to be, wouldn’t let his relationship with Hambo affect the results of his work. Nevertheless, we’re surprised that ol’ Hambo didn’t think to disclose that relationship in his post. Well, it was probably just an innocent oversight. Let’s read on:

Now, after ARG estimated that first-year attendance at the Ark would be 1.2 to 2.2 million, the state tourism office — per its procedure when considering a possible sales tax rebate to successful tourist attractions — used its own research consultant for attendance projections.


[T]he state’s consultant gave a much lower attendance estimate. But the state’s research firm did not conduct the much more thorough primary research that ARG performed. ARG’s Britt Beemer shared with me that, “My primary research identified that the Ark Encounter would be successful due to the vast amount of Americans who believe in the Ark. The number is close to four out of five Americans.”

Four out of five Americans believe in the Ark? Aaaargh!!

Hambo continues with some speculation as to why Beemer’s results were so much higher than the state’s. We don’t find that interesting, but if you do you can click over to Hambo’s website and read about it. Then he switches topics and tells us:

By the way, ARG’s new research also indicates that the number of visitors to the Creation Museum will increase by about 400,000 guests a year!

Okay. Then he wraps it up with this:

Despite the efforts of secularist naysayers to undermine the Ark project and even with our struggles with state officials, ARG declares that the Ark Encounter is going to be one of the most successful tourist attractions in America.

So there you are. Everything’s looking rosy for ol’ Hambo. Your Curmudgeon is pleased, because that means we’ll have plenty to blog about for years to come.

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18 responses to “Ken Ham Predicts More Ark Visitors

  1. Mary L. Mand

    I don’t think other theme parks are worried over this.

  2. It estimates the number of Americans who might visit …

    It is probably true that the number of Americans who might visit is far higher than the number of Americans who actually will visit.

  3. How long until ol Hambo or the like bends the rules of grammar once again and starts using the term Constitutionalist in reference to “The Excessive and Un-called for display of Secularosity!” by their oppressors?

  4. michaelfugate

    90% believe in the ark? – double Aaaargh! or is that double ARG! in this case.

  5. Charles Deetz ;)

    If I read ARG or Aaaargh one more time, my head will explode from hearing my own very poor pirate voice (in my head).

  6. Ceteris Paribus

    ARG may find some solid data for Ham. Given the choice between spending 40 days and 40 nights on Ham’s Ark, or being trapped in Disney’s “It’s a small world after all” theater for just 4 hours while the sound track loops interminably, it is reasonable to expect that 4 out of 5 people would choose the Ark torture.

  7. Derek Freyberg

    Hambo’s Footnote 1:
    “In another falsehood, the AU article claims that attendance at our museum has declined. Last year’s attendance, however, was better than some of the previous years, … .”
    Note the weasel-wording. He does not claim that attendance has not declined in the past year, merely that attendance was better than “some of the previous years”. In other words, it wasn’t at a minimum, merely somewhat above that, but not at a maximum. Wikipedia says: ” In 2012, Cincinnati CityBeat reported that, from July 1, 2011, to June 30, 2012, Museum attendance had dropped to 254,074, a 10 percent drop from the previous year and the fourth straight year of declining attendance. AiG officials cited the poor economy and high gas prices as reasons for the decline. On July 1, 2012, the Museum raised admission prices by $5 to $29.95 per person. In June 2013, AiG senior vice president Mike Zovath told the Lexington Herald-Leader, ‘We’re pretty happy with the way attendance is playing out,’ noting, ‘The 250,000 number has been our business model all along, and we’ve exceeded it every year.'” Considering that the museum opened 8 years ago, it would be interesting to know what the attendance really has been.
    And if they can only haul in 250,000 for the Museum, doesn’t 1.4 million to 2.2 million seem a little high for adding on the Ark? That assumes that 1-2 million people will show up just for the Ark, more-or-less.

  8. Derek Freyberg

    I was just watching NHK (the Japanese national broadcaster) talking about Himeji Castle. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site, in a country of around 125 million, on the Shinkansen (Bullet Train) line, so I would think around 70 million Japanese can get there in 5 hours or less (and for foreign tourists, it’s only 4 hours from Tokyo or an hour or so from Kyoto). Plus, it’s 500 years old and beautiful. They estimate 750,000 visitors per year.
    Anyone want to bet that Ken’s Fake Ark (TM) gets twice that or more?
    Or do the same calculation for the Tower of London, the Eiffel Tower, or (pick your landmark here) and compare it with people who would like to visit Hambo’s deluded vision of the earth in Petersburg, Kentucky.

  9. Have they actually started building anything, or is the Ark still just a plan on paper? 2016 isn’t that far away.

  10. Ceteris Paribus wisely notes

    Given the choice between spending 40 days and 40 nights on Ham’s Ark, or being trapped in Disney’s “It’s a small world after all” theater for just 4 hours while the sound track loops interminably, it is reasonable to expect that 4 out of 5 people would choose the Ark torture.

    Hear, hear!

    It was once the case that the sun never set on the British Empire. Today, with Disney theme parks in California, Florida, Paris, Tokyo, and Hong Kong, the sun never sets on “It’s a Small World.”

    Every moment of every day, that ghastly schlocky song is polluting the atmosphere from at least one point on the globe…

  11. @Paul D. asks, “Have they actually started building anything, or is the Ark still just a plan on paper? 2016 isn’t that far away.”

    You can follow their frequent updates at Unless their images are all made in Photoshop (and I don’t think they are that accomplished), their workers have constructed a series of small concrete towers that the Ark is supposed to rest on. (Yes, you will be able to walk under it and enjoy the terror of the whole wretched thing collapsing down on your head.)

    Construction of the Ark proper hasn’t started yet, though they claim to have gargantuan quantities of wood prepared already, and some lucky Amish guys will apparently have the immense privilege of actually putting it together. Supposedly the Ark building will start this summer.

  12. Per Ham, the museum drew 404,000 people it’s first year. Those are probably the people who will visit the arc park when it opens. Where will Ham find the additional million? Does he think there are that many people who will pay to see a wooden ark and be preached to for an hour or two, but were not interested in visiting his museum when it was opened?

    The only way Ham will get a million visitors is to put dinosaurs in his petting zoo.

  13. I’d go if he had dinosaurs, and no, I don’t mean birds.

  14. I commented about “Already Gone” in

    I’d suggest more that Hambo hired Britt Beemer to do the polling and some of the analysis of his book. I don’t think this is necessarily a conflict of interest, though we all know Hambo’s hirlings have to take a statement of faith–so you know he’s a Hambot.

    I actually think Hambo is correct the Ark will be much more popular than the museum. Just speaking for myself, the museum would seem to have very little entertainment value outside of saddling on the baby dinosaur. The ark is at least as interesting as the largest ball of twine or carhenge. Even some people I know with a secular outlook seem curious.

  15. @Megalonyx proudly states “It was once the case that the sun never set on the British Empire.”

    You should take a look at this.

  16. Doctor Stochastic

    I predict nine visitors. Seven of whom have bathed and two who haven’t.

  17. Dave Luckett

    I had a look at “Already gone…”, Ham’s and Beemer’s little book on Amazon preview. I admit to schadenfreude. It’s a long wail of pain about how the churches can’t hold their young people. Most of them drift away in their late teens and twenties, and they can’t be brought back. Sing it, brother. I’ve been there. I’m not there anymore.

    Of course, for Ken Ham, the cure is more authoritarianism, not less. More Bible, more blinkered tunnel vision – what he calls “Bible glasses” – and more fundamentalism, too. Certainly more ignorance, and less curiosity. Once they form the habit of asking questions, and worse, answering them by looking for evidence, they’re lost. They’ve got to be taught not to question, or in the last ditch, if they do it anyway, they’ve got to be taught to accept “The Bible says…” as a complete answer.

    Hence the desperate attempts to subvert and colonize the public schools and to provide substitutes for real education. If you call it a ‘museum’, it sounds like an learned institution, doesn’t it? Call it a school, college, or university, same effect.

    Of course the only result will be the impoverishment of a generation, in two different senses: intellectual and financial. But within that is a hidden demon: the production of a significant demographic who cannot think for themselves, are amenable to authority, and who are perfectly convinced that their loss of entitlement amounts to persecution.

    That’s a real danger to a democracy. And that’s where schadenfreude cuts out.

  18. This bit of news reported on the PBS News Hour tonight won’t make Ham happy:

    The gist of the story is that since 2007, the percentage of Americans who consider themselves Christian fell to 70.6 percent from 78.4 percent, according to Pew Research.