We’ve all been waiting for news of the latest figures about people visiting Ark Encounter — the creationist tourist attraction built by Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo), the ayatollah of Appalachia. Our last post on this topic was back in December: Ticket Sales for Hambo’s Ark Revealed.
Today, thanks to the work of our clandestine operative in Kentucky, code-named “Blue Grass,” we were alerted to a news story at the Cincinnati Enquirer, which has a comments feature — there are only two so far, one pro, one con. Their headline is Ark Encounter reports 1 million visitors in second year. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:
Northern Kentucky’s Noah’s Ark replica attracted one million visitors during its second year of operation, officials said. Answers in Genesis (AIG), which owns the Ark Encounter and the Creation Museum, reported a 20 percent jump in attendance year over year for the ark.
The news story gives us only Hambo’s figures, not official figures from the state, based on which Hambo’s organization receives a kickback of 25% on the sales taxes collected. We’ve seen nothing from that source. Our clandestine informant tells us:
Note that Ken Ham repeatedly stated that they would have MORE Ark visitors the second year. His estimates were 1.4 to 2 million plus. I plan on doing an open records act in August so we will have “official” numbers from July 2017 to July 2018. They may have far less than 1 million paid visitors and be claiming a million because of free tickets and people using season and lifetime passes. If so, despite their spin, this is a precipitous drop in attendance.
Perhaps so. This is the only other information of interest from the Cincinnati Enquirer
To put attendance to the Ark Encounter in perspective, the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden reported 1.6 million visitors in its last annual report. Kings Islands had an estimated 2017 attendance of 3.47 million, according to the Themed Entertainment Association. The Newport Aquarium averages 700,000 visitors a year, according to its website.
As you can see at Hambo’s website: Ark Tickets, adult tickets cost $48.00 for adults, or $38 for seniors, and kids’ tickets are much less. We aren’t told the ratio of adults to kids, so even if Hambo’s figure of “a million visitors” is accurate, we can’t even try to estimate the total revenue, but it seems to be enough to keep the ark afloat — so to speak.
Addendum: A year ago we posted Ark Encounter Ticket Sales Figures Released. One of Hambo’s own people said the figure for the ark’s first year was only 1 million, not the 1.4 million they had been predicting. But if Hambo’s figures for the current year are accurate, it’s only 1 million this year too. No problem. Creationists have had lots of experience re-interpreting reality to make it be what they want it to be. Last year’s figures have gone down the memory hole and — Behold, it’s a miracle! — they’ve had a 20% increase.
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