Dear IOWA Family:
The Battleship IOWA Museum is instituting a temporary public closure beginning today, Friday, March 13, with an estimated reopening on March 28. In making this decision, I must stress that there have not been any cases of Coronavirus reported in association with the museum.
We have been actively monitoring the Coronavirus situation on an hour by hour basis over the past several weeks. Our team established a multi-phase reaction plan that has been implemented based upon readily available information. Our goal was taking measured appropriate response as the situation progressed. We have been in constant contact with members of our board including our Chairman of the Board retired Rear Admiral Mike Shatynski, who has expertise in the area of emergency response to issues such as the one presented to us today.
As we were monitoring the rapidly changing situation on Thursday, March 12th, we felt that escalating our phases from active monitoring, disinfecting, and social distancing to a full closure was in the best interest for the safety of our guests and crew. The items that fed into our decision include:
● The emergency order issued by the Governor of California to postpone or cancel all gatherings over 250 people.
● The additional orders issued by LA County and the City of LA regarding gatherings of over 50 people.
● The closure of others in our industry including Disneyland, Universal, Getty, LA Zoo, and others.
● Our unique circumstance, location and dynamics related to it. All of which are challenges above and beyond those faced by other regional tourist attractions.
● And ultimately the safety of our crew and guests.
This decision will have a tremendous impact on our organization and crew livelihoods. We believe that a closure until March 28th is in the best interest of the safety of the general public and our crew.
As many of you know, we are a tightly funded operation that relies on ticket, event, program, and donation revenues to sustain us. Eliminating our ticket, event, and program revenues has a tremendous impact on our ability to fund the operation at our current level. Therefore, we will be reducing all non-essential expenses until we reopen or locate alternative revenue sources. Our team is actively working on identifying and locating these sources including donors and through our financial institution.
The impact to our crew and operation is serious and we don’t take it lightly. Specific temporary actions that we are taking include:
● Suspending all non-critical expenses.
● Furloughing non-essential staff to critical operational levels.
● Suspending all business related travel.
● Suspending all non-essential in-person meetings.
● Requiring social distancing for all essential staff during working hours.
We have authorized our operations crew (including volunteers) to continue maintaining the ship during this closure. Additionally, we welcome our volunteer security team to assist in maintaining a safe and secure premises. The primary affected team members including those that are public facing and administrative in nature, with a few essential staff members remaining to execute on critical functions.
This is a serious issue facing our country and we have an obligation to support the necessary actions to flatten out the infection curve.
We will continue to review the evolving situation on a regular basis for additional actions, as well as working with our supporters and donors to maintain some level of financial support.
We need your support more than ever to help us weather this storm! As a museum and Navy warship, the IOWA has weathered severe challenges in the past, both figuratively and literally.
We truly appreciate your support during this difficult time and hope that you consider financially supporting us at any level possible. The strength of the IOWA has been and will always be her supporters and crew.
Please visit our website at https://www.pacificbattleship.com to donate.
President & CEO