The past couple of weeks have picked up pace in both in-person and virtual tours. We have opened our indoor museum over the weekends and our large retail store will be opened within the next couple of weeks. We expect the recovery to continue for much of 2021 with our overnight programs beginning to book for June and special events for July on.
Many of you have followed our saga over the past year and your support has kept the crew motivated on a daily basis. While the pandemic has been challenging for the museum, it has also given us the opportunity to restructure operations to become stronger and more efficient as the National Museum of the Surface Navy. We continue to focus on quality experiences that connect our guests and supporters to the important mission of the Battleship IOWA and the Surface Navy. Funding, revenue, and personnel resources are critical to continue growing in the coming months and years.
In the coming months we will open Vicky’s Dog House, a unique public venue that will offer guests gourmet sausages on-board the IOWA, where they can enjoy a view of the waterfront. We will improve the quality of our existing tours with enhancements that create even more memorable experiences. We will enhance and grow our virtual tours, museum, and programs to reach a global audience with engaging experiences. Our onboard work to prepare for the National Museum of the Surface Navy has already begun and we expect to accelerate these efforts throughout the year.
To finance these efforts, the development team is bringing on a grant writer and marketing/development coordinator while our finance team continues their efforts in effective expense management and seeking out financing opportunities.
These initiatives require a motivated crew performing the necessary work to keep the ship afloat as a world class museum and attraction. Thankfully, we continue to receive support for our Hull Preservation campaign with the recent anonymous match of $10,000. The goal is $200,000 and this is one of the most important campaigns of the year. Your support makes it possible for us to maintain the hull of the ship to prevent issues that may occur due to corrosion and salt water. For those of you that have a boat, are a sea service veteran, or worked aboard a ship – I am confident that you are aware of the threats posed by the ocean. Please help us with a donation to combat corrosion and maintain the hull for the future by clicking here. Your gift will be matched dollar for dollar up to $10,000!
My second request of you is to please share our National Museum of the Surface Navy Plank Owner opportunity with your friends and family. It is free to sign up for and it will show us that you support this important museum aboard the Battleship IOWA. The link to share with your friends and family is https://surfacenavymuseum.org/plank_owner/.
Thank you for your continued support and all that you do. We look forward to seeing you on deck or virtually in 2021.
President and CEO