It’s hard to believe, but we have yet another fact-free post about Ark attendance from Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo), the ayatollah of Appalachia. He just posted this at the website of Answers in Genesis (AIG), his creationist ministry: Secular Media Spreads Misinformation About Ark Encounter Attendance.
Hambo is furious. He’s rolling around on the floor, foaming at the mouth and chewing the carpet. It’s more of the same stuff we recently wrote about in Hambo Disputes Ark Attendance Figures. As you recall, based on information attained through the Kentucky Open Records Act (KORA) about the safety tax of $.50 (fifty cents) paid to the City of Williamstown for each ticket sold, the paid attendance at Ark Encounter for September was down almost 17% from the prior year.
The press has reported about it and Hambo can’t stop complaining. Here are some excerpts from his latest, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:
Since the Ark Encounter opened in July 2016, we’ve been expanding, hiring new staff, and even refurbishing some areas to accommodate the massive numbers of people we’ve been seeing on a daily basis. But apparently we’ve been doing all of this for imaginary people because, according to a reporter — who (to our knowledge) didn’t reach out to anyone from Answers in Genesis, any local businesses, or tourist bureaus, but instead relied on “data” from an anti-Ark activist — very few people are coming!
BWAHAHAHAHAHA! No one claims he has no visitors. The data from the safety tax returns clearly shows, however, that paid attendance at the ark is declining — significantly. Throughout Hambo’s rant, you will note that he never disputes that. In fact, he never gives us any relevant figures at all. We’ve seen his rants about this before, so we won’t give you too much from this one. He quotes from something he wrote, which two newspapers published. Here we go:
… I was sent a Cincinnati Enquirer article (November 2) about the Ark Encounter, our themed attraction in Williamstown. The piece suggested the Ark was struggling with attendance and revenue as it was entering its third year. I just had to rub my eyes. We have been witnessing thousands of people visiting the Ark every day.
Yeah, yeah, the droolers are coming — but paid attendance is in decline. Does he address that? No. Instead he says:
Local hotels owners, restaurants managers, and tourist bureaus all know of the Ark’s success. The reporter apparently did not talk to owners of tourism-related businesses in Dry Ridge, just five miles from the Ark … . Instead, he relied heavily on information spoon-fed him by an anti-Ark activist and ignored the evidence of the Ark’s significant economic impact on the region.
That “anti-Ark activist” had the data from the safety tax Hambo paid. The rest is irrelevant. Then he complains about the accuracy of the safety tax data:
However, it is not a true count of attendance due to a number of factors, including: children under 5 are free and there are many types of tickets, such as lifetime passes (of which there are many thousand passholders), multi-day passes, annual passes, and so on do not require visitors to purchase a ticket at the gate.
Yes, but the issue everyone has been writing about is paid attendance. Paid attendance, Hambo! We don’t care — and neither does anyone else — about babies in diapers who get in free. He continues:
The huge growth of motor coach tours to the Ark, a nationwide TV campaign, and word-of-mouth buzz generated by our excited visitors are prompting more and more people to travel to Northern Kentucky to visit the Ark.
How about paid attendance, Hambo? Let’s read on:
While there are no public records of the Ark’s true total attendance that a reporter can access, I can confirm that the Creation Museum (opened in 2007) and the Ark Encounter (with a July 2016 launch) have welcomed over six million visitors!
The issue is paid attendance at the Ark, Hambo! It’s declining, isn’t it? *No response from Hambo* Skipping a bit, here’s another excerpt:
With up to 1,200 full-time and part-time/seasonal staff members, AiG has had a remarkable economic impact in the region. Yet some anti-Ark activists keep feeding misleading information to the media [Hee hee!] to suggest that this growing ministry is struggling. I publicly call on the media to conduct responsible and accurate reporting. That does not just mean talking to us, but also interviewing people in local tourism.
Then there’s a bible quote and some other stuff, but we’ve seen enough. What we haven’t seen, however, is for Hambo to admit that the safety tax he pays is based on paid attendance at the ark — which is declining.
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