The latest numbers from Dan Phelps

The latest numbers for attendance for the Ark Park are in, and as one might expect, show a steady decline.

This year in November 2018 the Ark Encounter sold 40,193 tickets.
Last year, November 2017, the Ark Encounter sold 51,914 tickets.

About -20% from the previous year, eh?

A nightmare for Ken Ham, but it is entirely possible that hoards of 4 year olds are overwhelming the place, brought by their lifetime member parents or guardians.

I can’t wait to see what winter months bring. It might be financially wise to close the place for January and February, but Ken Ham can’t lose face by doing such a thing.

Here are all previous numbers since the safety tax began, for your convenience.


July: 142,626 (Safety Fee amount: $71,313.00)
August: 106,161 ($53,080.50)
September: 83,330 ($41,665.00)
October: 93,659 ($46,829.50)
November: 51,914 ($25,957.00)
December: 36,472 ($18,236.00)


January: 13,250 ($6,625.00)
February: 17,961 ($8,980.50)
March: 62,251 ($31,125.50)
April: 67,613 ($33,806.50)
May: 73,353 ($36,676.50)
June: 113,901 ($56,950.50)
July: 135,922 ($67,961.00)
August: 98,106 ($49,053.00)
September: 69,207 ($34,603.50)
October: 89,434 ($44,717.00)

A few words of caution in interpreting these numbers. The Ark Park is absurdly overpriced, and Ken Ham is raking in a heck of a lot of profit…so the numbers would probably have to drop a lot more before he goes in the red. Also, the numbers come from reported attendance, used to calculate a safety fee or tax to the city of Williamsburg. Ham is such a venal little toad I wouldn’t be surprised if he intentionally under-reports (if he can) to save a little money.

I’m also unsurprised. Any theme park will have a drop off in attendance after the shiny newness wears off. 20% in a year, though…ouch. AiG is probably frantically trying to think of new ways to spark interest in their ridiculous young-Earth pretense.

I recommend that they should jump on the flat-earth, no moon-landings, anti-vaxx bandwagon. There’s no end of gullible people in that crowd. They won’t bat an eye at the claim that the Earth is less than ten thousand years old.


  1. John Morales says

    Business-wise, they’d be wiser to admit they’re into entertainment based on fables.

    (Those numbers look kinda sad)

  2. Nemo says

    The flat Earth is totally biblical. The only reason a guy like Ham doesn’t embrace it is that he (I assume) thinks it’s trivially disproved and ridiculous… and doesn’t see that the same is true of his young Earthism. Because it’s “historical science”, because he can’t see Earth aging in front of his eyes, he allows himself to remain ignorant of the evidence.

  3. methuseus says

    If you look at 2017 vs 2018, November could just be a fluke month. 40k tickets are still a decent chunk of change, and averaging the drop in attendance is about 11% year over year. That is not unheard-of for a new or refurbished theme park that’s not in the middle of a big entertainment area (Orlando, Las Vegas, or southern California). If you count November as an outlier month, the year-over-year attendance figures are about an 8% drop. Adding September as another outlier, that drops the discrepancy to just over 5%, which is not that bad.

    There’s definitely the caveat that the “museum” has been open less than 18 months, so it’s really hard to figure out trends in that little data. They could also be padding the numbers (down) more this year than last year to minimize their safety fee. Numbers are high enough still that “the faithful are coming” even while he lowers reporting to pay less.

    If we were to look at the numbers for the Creation “museum” we could have a better comparison, but we’d still want at least 2 full years of data to even begin to define a trend.

  4. wcorvi says

    My guess is that most of his ‘customers’ are school bus loads of kids, whose teachers don’t want to bother teaching science. Those kids, and those schools, aren’t paying the normal entry fee. Are there still safety fees on them? There should be.