Ark Ticket Sales — November & December 2019

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.

Copyright © 2020. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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16 responses to “Ark Ticket Sales — November & December 2019

  1. Well well, is this a turning point? One swallow doesn’t make summer yet, as we Dutch say, but a decline of more than 18% is not exactly nothing. I’m looking forward to the numbers of January and February.

  2. Richard Staller

    I saw an arc commercial on tv complete with cloying 3D giraffes. Almost threw up.

  3. @FrankB
    “One swallow doesn’t make a summer”: Aristotle

  4. Dave Luckett

    Isn’t the original swallow story from Aesop?

    As for Ark gate takings, they’ve held up longer than I thought they would. And going into winter, of course they’ll drop off. How much they drop is perhaps not as significant. But a distinctly lower May and June would be more so.

    I have underestimated both the credulity and persistence of the creationist heartland before now. Ken Ham, of course, knows it very well, which is why he moved there in the first place. But there are limits to all things. Perhaps even they are beginning to find that a tour of what amounts to a boat-shaped warehouse gets old fast. It’s possible. We’ll see.

    I said at the start, I give it five years before the boards go up. I was wrong. Maybe ten. But one thing I can pretty much guarantee. Ken will have disengaged in plenty of time, and he will not be the one left holding the bag, when the crunch comes.

  5. I think the plastic dinosaurs and boring plaques quoting real gibberish as well as the whole fake “ark” built with modern construction technologies and an army of workers and heavy equipment is going to disenchant and cause doubts among the church goers who visit each year. And word is spreading of how totally wack a doodle and sterile the whole crazy thing is. Repeat visitors are going to be rare.
    And Kentucky is going to end up with a giant fake monstrosity sitting out on its countryside becoming sadder and stupider every year.

  6. A real museum is often like an iceberg: visitors only see the exposition while most of its collection sits in storage, being studied and classified by the curators. Publicity is not the curator’s only job; collection acquisition, conservation, education and even scientific research are also part of it. Neither the Creation Dungeon nor the Ark Experience are musea. They’re just showboats.

  7. I find it amusing that word “museum” derives from a word meaning a temple to the goddesses, the Muses.

  8. @DaveL feels a bit guilty: “I have underestimated both the credulity and persistence of the creationist heartland before now.”
    Well, it’s nearly impossible to overestimate them.

  9. The Ark Park has two major problems: It’s not at all conveniently located. Yeah, Kentucky’s in the Bible Belt, but there’s no easy way to get to eat even from within the state itself – it’s left of the middle of nowhere. It’s also incredibly expensive.

  10. Ha, just watched “We Believe in Dinosaurs” last night. You should have seen the look on my wifes face when they detailed the financial arrangement they got…. “They are doing WHAT?”.

    But I was disheartened by the statement from their head artistic designer when he said “Yeah, it’s doing well. It’s doing REAL well”….. oh wait, why am I taking their claims to be true? So far it’s all b*llsh*t!

  11. Karl Goldsmith

    With them now of five day weeks, being shut Sunday and Monday might bring down the numbers even more.

  12. Saw the giraffe ad during the CBS Morning News [national] and I believe that it said kids are free for the whole year.

  13. Charley Horse X

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  14. No problems here, and no mention of this on the Word Press forum.

  15. Charley Horse X

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  16. @douglas Yes “kids” are free now (Hambo raised the rates on adults), but a “kid” is someone 10 and under.