Good morning IOWA Family. Today is Saturday, May 30th and we will reopen for limited capacity outdoor tours at 10am this morning.
Today is an emotional day for many. Coming aboard again and seeing the crew out in force, wearing their masks and practicing distancing, makes me proud to be a small part of this amazing team. To see our ship family again simply feels great and makes us realize how much we missed each other since mid-March.
Today is the first day I have walked into my office with the lights on in over 2 months. To sit down at my desk and look around at what seems like a different era is odd, yet refreshing. Items left on my desk for what I was working on in mid-March seem no longer relevant and now part of history. From expired Southwest Airlines coupons to business cards of people that no longer have jobs, it highlights the new times ahead for all of us.
Yet there is so much that reminds me of our path ahead including the presentation booklets and Plank Owner certificates for the National Museum of the Surface Navy, the plaques from Fleet Week, the memories from challenge coins, and the smiling faces under the masks of our crew.
This will be our first weekend open to the public as a new and different museum. We have to rebuild from here and it won’t be easy, but it will be accomplished because of your commitment and dedication. I have no doubt that it will be different, we will need to adjust, and flexibility will be the new word for 2020.
I can’t tell you what this weekend has in store for us with public attendance. As of 9am this morning, we have sold 16 online tickets. In comparison, we went into Saturday March 5th (prior to Covid-19) with 66 online tickets sold. At that point, we didn’t ask or push to book in advance online. As mentioned in prior emails, I expect our attendance and revenue to be down 50% or greater for the foreseeable future and this will undoubtedly affect our operations. It will require us to be more efficient, focused, and say “No” to many of the great ideas that come across our desks.
With all of this said, we WILL weather this storm and we WILL be stronger because of you! I look forward to providing you an update on Monday with how the weekend goes and hopefully am able to gain a greater understanding of the path ahead.
Have an amazing weekend and thank you for your support!
-Jonathan (President & CEO)