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.