IBJNews

Conner Prairie reports rising attendance, revenue

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Conner Prairie is ending 2009 in relatively better health than last year, as attendance and revenues are up at the same time donations are lagging, executives at the Fishers living history museum said Wednesday.  

As of Nov. 1, membership attendance had spiked 18 percent. General admission attendance was up 11 percent, to 90,000 visitors.

Revenue was up 4 percent, but the percentage increase didn't correlate with the rise in attendance because members pay yearly instead of each time they visit. Conner Prairie brought in nearly $10 million in 2008.

Conner Prairie executives attributed the encouraging attendance figures to some “unusual” choices they made to help the museum weather the economic storm.

One of the most notable is the exhibit that opened this year, the 1859 Balloon Voyage, which is the first step of an aggressive, long-range strategic plan, executives said.

The exhibit has contributed more than $200,000 in revenue to the museum.

France-based Aerophile, the balloon’s manufacturer, told Conner Prairie directors that the “capture rate”—number of paying guests who bought tickets to the exhibit—is the highest of any of Aerophile’s locations worldwide. Conner Prairie said more than 20,000 visitors have taken a balloon ride so far this year.

Conner Prairie’s apple store also is having a solid year, posting a 12-percent increase in sales compared to the same time in 2008.

However, the amount of donations the museum has received so far this year is 10 percent lower than it was last year. But executives remain confident Conner Prairie still will end the year ahead of last year’s giving totals.

Contributions to the museum so far are off 10.3 percent from 2008, when they totaled $749,693, said Cameron McGuire, vice president of development at Conner Prairie.

December, though, is an important month for not-for-profits, which typically see an end-of-year flood of financial gifts.

"It's a big month for us," he said. "But it's tough out there."   

Revenues from school admissions and special programs also are down from 2008, the museum said.

Conner Prairie said it should add to its 2009 membership and revenue totals with special programs running through the end of the year. They include Follow the North Star, Gingerbread Village, Conner Prairie by Candlelight and Holiday on the Prairie.

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. why oh why does this state continue to elect these people....do you wonder how much was graft out of the 3.8 billion?

  2. i too think this is a great idea. I think the vision and need is there as well. But also agree with Wendy that there may be better location in our city to fulfill this vision and help grow the sports of hockey and figure skating in Indy. Also to help further develop other parts of the city that seem often forgotten. Any of the other 6 townships out side of the three northernmost could benefit greatly from a facility and a vision like this. For a vision that sounds philanthropic, the location is appears more about the money. Would really like to see it elsewhere, but still wish the development the best of luck, as we can always use more ice in the city. As for the Ice growth when they return, if schedules can be coordinated with the Fuel, what could be better than to have high level hockey available to go see every weekend of the season? Good luck with the development and the return of the Ice.

  3. How many parking spaces do they have at Ironworks? Will residents have reserved spaces or will they have to troll for a space among the people that are there at Ruth Chris & Sangiovese?

  4. You do not get speeding ticket first time you speed and this is not first time Mr.Page has speed. One act should not define a man and this one act won't. He got off with a slap on the wrist. I agree with judge no person was injured by his actions. The state was robbed of money by paying too much rent for a building and that money could have been used for social services. The Page family maybe "generous" with their money but for most part all of it is dirty money that he obtained for sources that are not on the upright. Page is the kind of lawyer that gives lawyers a bad name. He paid off this judge like he has many other tine and walked away. Does he still have his license. I believe so. Hire him to get you confiscated drug money back. He will. It will cost you.

  5. I remain amazed at the level of expertise of the average Internet Television Executive. Obviously they have all the answers and know the business inside and out.

ADVERTISEMENT