What would we do without our clandestine operative in Kentucky, code-named “Blue Grass”? He has provided us with the latest official ticket sales figures for people visiting Ark Encounter — the creationist tourist attraction built by Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo), the ayatollah of Appalachia.
As you know, Hambo has to pay a safety tax of $.50 (fifty cents) to the City of Williamstown for each ticket sold, and the results are available through the Kentucky Open Records Act (KORA). Our operative showed us a copy of the latest Monthly Safety Assessment Report. It reveals that Hambo’s Ark Encounter sold 89,343 tickets in October 2018, resulting in a fee due to the city of $44,717.00.
Now the big question is: What were the ark’s ticket sales for the same month during the preceding year? As we reported in Hambo’s Ark — True Figures for the 2nd Year, in October of 2017 the Ark sold 93,639 tickets. Blue Grass now says last October’s figure was 93,659 — a slightly higher number than we reported earlier. We’ll go with his latest number.
What do we learn from this? The first thing to note is that Hambo sold a lot of tickets. We have to give him credit for that. But the next thing we observe is that the number of paid tickets for this October isn’t higher than last year’s number. In fact it’s lower. Not by much, of course, but it is lower. It’s 4,316 lower, which is a dip of 4.6%. September’s ticket sales were almost 17% lower than the year before, so the October slippage isn’t nearly as great — but it is a decline.
What will Hambo say about this? If his prior rants are any clue, he’ll once again say that the secularists are spreading misinformation about his glorious ark. He’ll claim that there are enormous numbers of uncounted visitors, because little children get in free with their ticket-buying parents, and lifetime pass owners don’t have to buy a ticket each time they visit. And we’ll respond by saying that those factors were also true last year, and it doesn’t change the fact that actual ticket sales have declined.
So where are we? We don’t know how much Hambo’s activities cost to operate, but it would appear that he’s selling enough tickets to keep the ark afloat, so to speak. Also, we don’t know whether the recent declines in ticket sales will continue. The important thing is that despite Hambo’s claims to the contrary, the numbers aren’t increasing. It’s quite the opposite.
As before, it’ll be fun to watch Hambo’s reactions when the press reports his ticket sales figures. And we’re grateful to our clandestine operative for his excellent work.
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