Here are 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. Our last post about this was Ark Ticket Sales — August to October 2019, and now we’ll give you the numbers for the rest of the year.
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). We’ve been getting that information from our clandestine operative in Kentucky, code-named “Blue Grass.” It isn’t thrilling reading, so we haven’t been posting about it monthly. That’s why you’re getting two months in the same post.
For November of 2019, Ark Encounter sold 37,686 tickets. A year earlier, in November of 2018, the same open records request indicated 40,193 tickets sold. That means this November Hambo sold 2,507 less tickets, a decrease of 6.2% compared to November of the preceding year.
Blue Grass says this decline is “in spite of much advertising and new buildings and other features” that have been ballyhooed by ol’ Hambo, and it’s nowhere near the attendance figures he originally predicted back when he was promoting the Ark.
What about December? Blue Grass says (with our bold font):
Good news! Once again Ark attendance numbers are down compared to the same month a year ago. This December 2019, the Ark sold tickets totaling 37,880, whereas in December 2018 they totaled 46,400.
Wowie — that’s a year-to-year decline of 8,520 tickets, a significant decrease of 18% over December of the preceding year. What could possibly explain that? Is there suddenly a shortage of droolers?
Hambo always has excuses, such as lifetime pass holders who don’t buy tickets, and he lets young children in free if their parents buy tickets for themselves — but those factors are always present, so they don’t explain year-to-year declines. Anyway, things appear to be going well enough that we’ll probably have Hambo’s ark to write about for years to come.
As always, we’re grateful to our clandestine operative for his excellent work.
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