Hambo’s Ark — True Figures for the 2nd Year

A few weeks ago we wrote Hambo’s Ark Encounter Attendance Figures, in which we reported about the contradictory claims regarding the number of people visiting Ark Encounter — the creationist tourist attraction built by Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo), the ayatollah of Appalachia.

Hambo’s people were claiming that their roadside “replica” of Noah’s Ark had attracted one million visitors during its second year of operation, which was alleged to be a 20 percent jump in attendance year over the first year’s figure for the ark. Before that, Hambo had been making estimates of 1.4 to 2 million, and possibly more.

We’ve been relying on our clandestine operative in Kentucky, code-named “Blue Grass,” who had requested official figures from the state, based on which Hambo’s organization receives a kickback of 25% on the sales taxes collected. Today we have his report. He informs us that these are the actual ticket sales figures for the Ark’s second year of operation, which he obtained from the city of Williamstown, which imposes its own tax on ticket sales:

July 2017: 142,626
August 2017: 106,161
September 2017: 83,330
October 2017: 93,639
November 2017: 51,914
December 2017: 36,472
January 2018: 13,250
February 2018: 17,961
March 2018: 62,251
April 2018: 67,613
May 2018: 73,353
June 2018: 113,901

Thus the total for the Ark’s second year of operation (June 2017 to June 2018) is: 862,471.

Note that those are the figures for visitors who paid for tickets. There may be some free tickets that were given out, and also visitors who were using previously purchased season and lifetime passes. But it’s unlikely that there were half a million of those, so it appears that despite Hambo’s claims, there has been a serious decline in attendance.

What does this mean for the future of Hambo’s enterprise? Who knows? There may be enough revenue coming in to keep the whole thing going, thus providing Hambo and his family with a comfortable living. But if the figures continue to decline, that may change. Anyway, despite claims to the contrary, it doesn’t look like the numbers are increasing, and that’s interesting information. We are grateful to our clandestine operative for his excellent work.

Copyright © 2018. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

add to del.icio.usAdd to Blinkslistadd to furlDigg itadd to ma.gnoliaStumble It!add to simpyseed the vineTailRankpost to facebook

. AddThis Social Bookmark Button . Permalink for this article

14 responses to “Hambo’s Ark — True Figures for the 2nd Year

  1. Hambo’s people were claiming that their roadside “replica” of Noah’s Ark had attracted one million visitors during its second year of operation, which was alleged to be a 20 percent jump in attendance year over the first year’s figure for the ark

    But the first year they also reported 1 million so how could 1M in the second year be a 20% jump? Or were they making a projection?

  2. @Draken – they have since changed their “would” to “wouldn’t” – the 20% percent gain was apparently a 20% increase in the number of tour buses…

    Anyway, some accountant type should do an analysis of the “official ticket” sales vs the reported sales tax reported to the state for the rebate, and determine statistically if the difference falls within the norm to account for food and trinket sales.

    If not, I wouldn’t be surprised if he is “cooking” the books to shift ticket sales into food sales to minimize the ticket fees, but maximize the sales tax rebate.

    Man, with thinking like that, maybe I should become an professional christian apologist…..

  3. Karl Goldsmith (@KarlGoldsmith)

    He is okay for ten years, they gave him the $1,800,000 last year. I noticed on the latest 990 for AiG that ended June 2017 showed an increase of revenue less expenses to £13,854,388. The previous year was only $2,418,884.

    The Ark Encounter LLC payed a management fee to AiG of 1.7 million.

  4. Eddie Janssen

    But how on earth do all these visitors fit in the Ark that is already crowded with dinosaurs, trilobites, tiktaaliks, lions, chameleons and all other kinds of animals.

  5. Karl Goldsmith (@KarlGoldsmith)

    “Hambo’s organization receives a kickback of 25% on the sales taxes collected” I don’t understand where this 25% bulls**t comes from.

  6. Karl Goldsmith (@KarlGoldsmith)

    So that should be investment not sales tax.

  7. bewilderbeast

    Hambo underestimated seasickness. The gentle rocking motion of his EXACT REPLICA makes people sick. When they get back to their churches they have to be honest and say “It made me sick” – plummeting attendance.

  8. Dave Luckett

    I will guarantee that Ham knows the attendance figures to the last digit and the revenue to the last cent. He’s sitting on them tight as a tick. Why would he do that, if they’re so gosh-darn great?

    I gave it five years, last year. I think we’re on track.

  9. I don’t know Dave, 40 mil a year right now? How much can it cost to run that place (ignoring the re-siding that ‘s gonna be needed soon)

    Maybe he’s sending it all out for missions work for GAWD?

  10. I agree the Ark isn’t going anywhere. There simply is no overhead besides paying the mortgage. If the mind mindbogglingly stupid creation museum can survive more than a decade, the Ark will be around for at least 20 years.

  11. “But the first year they also reported 1 million so how could 1M in the second year be a 20% jump? Or were they making a projection?”

    That one is *easy* to answer, creationist use “alternative” math. 4.55B year age of the Earth was only 6K years ago! One would have to be pretty silly to not be able to recognize how easy this is for world class creationists to solve!

  12. Ham clearly sees himself as a visionary, (along the lines of a latter-day Walt Disney), plundering Genesis for new exhibits and attractions to add to Ark Encounter, as part of an ongoing, maybe lifelong project.

    What a joyless, penitential vision.

    It’s probably redundant to point out the irony of someone like Ham building his very own mythical Tower of Babel. He doesn’t even get the meaning of the story he’s so enamoured with, he’s too busy lecturing everyone else over their “sins”.

  13. The tower could actually be fun if they took the Disney approach…. forced perspective to make it look much bigger from the outside, when you get off the elevator at the top, the “viewing platform” has a digital screen beneath with a faux simulation of the park below, making it look miles high.

    The added benefit is that Ham could simulate in “Thousands of visitors daily” to make it always look as crowded as he claims…. :-/

  14. Michael Fugate

    He could also make it appear as if they are all drowning in water surrounding the ark – I’m saved and they’re lost!