Don’t count the Ark Park out yet


There’s something you have to remember when you see those headlines like, “Attendance collapses at Creationist Ark museum!” It’s true that their numbers are constantly dropping — attendance was around 83,000 September last year, down to about 70,000 this past month — but they’re charging about $60 per head, so that’s about $4 million income per month, from a cheesy stupid wooden box in the middle of nowhere. So I wouldn’t exactly call it a collapse, more of a steady decline. We’d have to balance that income with their expenses for the full perspective. The real question is whether they are running in the red yet, or when will that happen? I think they’re currently probably turning a profit, but the operators are almost certainly planning ahead for what they can do to boost the numbers, if they’re smart. And let’s not pretend otherwise: they are stupid bad at science, but cunningly unscrupulous at making money.

I will point out that several years ago, the Creation “Museum” was fading, and I believe they were losing money on it (AiG has multiple revenue streams, though, as well as a horde of gullible people making donations), and they came up with the grand idea of building the Ark Park as a stimulus. That worked, it’s making them lots of money, and it also brought more attendance to the Creation “Museum”, making it profitable again.

What we ought to be concerned about, as attendance drifts gently ever downward, is what gigantic scam they’re planning to pull next to kick their numbers upward again. The $100 million grift of the Ark Park helped them pretend to be relevant again, but the ever-escalating math of the big con means their next project has to be an even bigger boondoggle, and they might have to move up from bilking one state, Kentucky, to getting mega-money from…the federal government.

If you think our federal government is too smart to fall for a far right-wing, evangelical religious con job, that they aren’t a bunch of Kentucky hicks, you better look again.

Comments

  1. says

    PZ:
    If you think our federal government is too smart to fall for a far right-wing, evangelical religious con job

    They are a right-wing evangelical religious con job.

  2. willj says

    Tower of Babel. Not too high though, or it might reach heaven and god would cause them to speak different languages. Like Arabic.

  3. Snarki, child of Loki says

    …starting the “B Ark Park”!

    Makes money, solves “other problems” also, too.

  4. aziraphale says

    Perhaps they could be persuaded to build a seagoing version and offer Ark cruises. Steering into a hurricane where possible, for added authenticity.

  5. screechymonkey says

    I suspect that profits may not even be the right way to look at graft like this. I’m sure that the park’s executives are drawing nice salaries.

  6. Nekomancer says

    “Sixty Dollars Per Heade?!?!?”

    When you consider how much it costs for a ticket into Disneyland, not to mention parking, eating, standing in a 40-minute line for a two-minute ride, $60 doesn’t sound too bad…BUT, Disneyland is fun, lots of entertainment, things to see. It’s worth the extra costs! And they’ve got fireworks, and I can get a picture with Mickey!

  7. waydude says

    Nah, they need a summer attraction. Calling it now, Moses Parting the Red Sea Water Park!

  8. DonDueed says

    Isn’t it obvious? The next attraction should be the final one: Heaven.
    You follow the light, which guides you to enter through the Pearly Gates, of course. Then it’s up the long, long staircase into the clouds (elevator available for those still troubled by earthly disabilities), from which you can look down and gloat at all the sinners in Hell (where the Bible-college interns provide lots of sulfurous fumes, heat, and groaning). Finally, you get to visit the Throne of God itself.
    Golden slippers available at extra charge.

  9. nomdeplume says

    Couple of relevant sayings – ’there’s one born every minute” “never give a sucker an even break”.

  10. jrkrideau says

    @ 7 Crip Dyke

    SIXTY DOLLARS PER HEAD?!?!?
    Jesus Christ.

    I believe he receives a membership discount.

  11. Matrim says

    Even were I an incredibly religious person, I’d balk at a $60 price tag for…that. Even evangelicals should have standards, $60 could buy God’s Not Dead 1 & 2, A Case For Christ, I Can Only Imagine, Miracles From Heaven, AND Saving Christmas with cash left over.

  12. says

    Unfortunately for the Hamster the Hobby Lobbyists beat him to it with their fake Bible Museum so I guess we won’t be seeing a “Big Bible” on the horizon any time soon. Maybe they can raise funds
    for a giant statue of Moses and the 10 Commandments on an Island in New York harbor. Much more attractive than that verdigris coated French woman inviting the poor and the huddled masses to enter.

  13. bcwebb says

    You’ll be thrilled to hear that the title of this entry is triggering your advertisers to show ads for the “American Bible Society” which mourns the fact that 65 percent of Americans have NOT READ THE BIBLE! I have, one more reason to be an atheist.

    The red sea reference reminds me of an episode of “My Name is Earl” where one of the people Earl has wronged and has to as pardon of is scary tattooed thug just out of prison. However, it seems “Donny” found Jesus in prison and made the bible the inspiration for more tattoos: Donny “I got a tattoo of Moses parting the red sea, wanna see” as he stands up, turns around and starts to pull down his pants to show his butt…..

  14. methuseus says

    $60 per person… Wow, and my aunt and uncle were invited to pay that to attend at opening day. And accepted. I had already lost all faith in them, but to pay that much, where does that leave me now?

  15. curbyrdogma says

    Well, the Amish/Mennonites (who apparently comprise a significant amount of attendees), keep having kids, and they’re alleged to be shrewd businessmen, so…

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