After the first week open, it appears that this is going to be a difficult recovery. Our deepest appreciation for your continued support and please continue to support us during this recovery with your donations, time, and sharing of our message, if able.
I was hoping that general tour traffic would have been higher with pent up demand. From May 30th to June 6th, 2020 we had a total of 142 visitors compared to the same period last year with 2,830 visitors. A whopping 95% decrease in museum visitation in one week! This doesn’t take into account that retail, overnight, and event programs remain closed.
We are adjusting advertising spend online to try different methods, with limited success at this point. Our traditional advertising remains in-market due to pre-purchase ad buys, but of course with limited tourism the impressions will be significantly lower. Google still shows as closed and this is especially painful considering the amount of traffic that is generated through Google Maps. Numerous supporters reported us open and I have been emailing their customer service daily at this point. They have apparently “escalated” our case, but we still await a response.
I was thrilled to see the numerous crew members that came out to support our reopening. We continue to tightly manage our expenses by not adding additional staff, limiting power usage, and suspending all non-critical expenses. I suspect that we will continue to adjust our operation as we move forward with most of these being based upon revenue from donations and programs.
We are seeing some bright spots in potential reopening of camps, increase in air travel, and a controlled case count. I was happy to see the large number of folks that came out in support of our local area restaurants and my hopes are that they will also see the value in supporting their local area museums.
As we continue to adjust our plans for the future, we are looking at potential engagement opportunities to leverage both a localized and virtual environment. I hope to have more on this soon.
Please be safe and take care of each other. If you are able and so willing, we truly appreciate your support and contribution towards the Battleship IOWA Museum. You can donate online at https://www.pacificbattleship.com/donate.
-Jonathan Williams, President & CEO