Hambo Rants Again About Ark Attendance

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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17 responses to “Hambo Rants Again About Ark Attendance

  1. “and word-of-mouth buzz generated by our excited visitors”
    I wonder how many people show up just to experience this carnival. I would be quite tempted to have a look if I happen to be in that part of the globe. Kind of tourist attraction.

  2. All he has to do is publish his attendance numbers. If wants everyone to know them, and if they are indeed increasing somehow…. (avg number of kids per family increasing by the year? All those lifetime pass members are hanging out there daily?), then ALL he has to do is open his book and publish the numbers.

    Since he won’t, and continues to “protest too much”, then I think there are only three options:

    1) He’s lying about the increasing attendance
    2) He’s trying to hide something else. Perhaps shifting ticket sales into sales receipts (gift shop, cafeteria) to DECREASE the safety fee while INCREASING the sales tax refund?
    3) simply lying about the ticket sales to save on the safety fees.

    It certainly wouldn’t be first time books have been cooked…..

    Which is it Kenny? 1, 2, or 3?

    Did I miss any options?

  3. If the City of Williamstown is only getting their fifty cents for each paid ticket, they’re getting the short end of the deal. A person coming in on a lifetime pass (of which, according to Ham, there are many thousands) puts just as much drain on local services as a paying customer.

    Kosh makes a good point. Option (2) would keep him square with IRS, but would help him get around the City of Williamstown. (Or is Kenny claiming the whole shebang is a religious institution exempt from IRS, local property taxes, and all else?)

  4. Derek Freyberg

    If a multi-day pass doesn’t attract at least one day’s safety fee (to my mind it should attract the safety fee multiplied by the number of days the pass is valid for), the city is missing out; but they can always fix that just by tightening up the safety fee ordinance.
    But what percentage of visitors do you think come in on anything other than single day tickets? “Many thousands” of lifetime passes doesn’t work out to a large proportion of the 3/4 million or so ticket sales.

  5. Hambo’s used dinosaur and talking donkey emporium. Now open. 🙂

  6. The definition of a “paid ticket” is something that I would have thought the local council would have taken into account. All attendances, regardless of whether “paid” or under a “life pass” ought to trigger the 50 cents saftety charge. The “blame” here lies with the locals not Ham.

  7. Karl Goldsmith

    “how could we build a new $20 million multi-purpose center” Surely if you really believed the crap about lack of accommodation, that money would have been spent to build some accommodation on the Ark Encounter land as another source of income.

  8. Karl Goldsmith

    As the safety fee is not included in ticket price then that 50 cent should be charged to everyone.

  9. Karl Goldsmith

    In one of the other posts I pointed out the liabilities for AiG had doubled in three years, to $16,000,000

    Well Crosswater Canyon that is resposible for the Ark Encounter has liabilities of $82,000,000 yet four years ago it was only $53,000,000

  10. This is the typical behaviour of a seasoned liar.

  11. @KarlGoldsmith The provisions/rules underlying the bonds would make interesting reading. One can only presume that certain triggers for (partial) payment have been triggered. One might think that Ham might want to boast about this.

    Of course, another possibility is that he has borrowed (and spent) a further $53m for one reason or another.

  12. If Hambo really wanted to rebut his critics, he could artificially inflate the figures for the ark. For example, September’s paid attendance for this year was 14,123 less than last year’s September. Hambo could claim another 15,000 paid visitors — but it would cost him $7,500 in extra safety tax. And he’d also have to pay sales taxes on those fictitious 15K tickets. So it’s too expensive to fake the numbers. All he can do is rant.

  13. I wanted to read the ordinance, mostly because I figured the city was due money for all those coming in without buying a ticket. If you read it carefully, Hambo is on solid ground only paying tickets for people who actually purchase a ticket.

    Interestingly, according to SECTION VII of the ordinance, it is supposed to be a CONFIDENTIAL REPORT. I suppose this is because the actual Ark figures are reported along with the two other businesses affected by the ticket tax.

  14. Karl Goldsmith

    It’s nice to see the tards argue, Ken Ham has an invite to Matt Walsh “I’m personally inviting you to visit the Ark & Creation Museum as my guest – Accomodation provided. I’ll host you & show you first hand what we do, how we communicate & our heart for proclaiming God’s Word & the gospel”. Two misogynistic bigots fighting each other over a fairytale book.

  15. Ashley Haworth-roberts

    Off-topic but have you seen?

    ‘Responding To Ken Ham’s Distortions And Misinformation | The Matt Walsh Show Ep. 145’.

  16. Any response to Ol’Hambo of fourty minutes is way too flattering.