Conner Prairie sees attendance, giving increase in 2009

January 29, 2010

Conner Prairie saw increases in both daily admissions and giving in 2009 and ended its year in the black for the fourth time in a row.

The interactive history park in Fishers shared results at its annual meeting Wednesday evening.

Conner Prairie, along with many other museums and not-for-profit organizations, began 2009 in cost-cutting mode because of major endowment losses. The value of the park's endowment fell from more than $100 million in 2007 to $85 million at the end of 2008. CEO Ellen Rosenthal eliminated 19 jobs last March.

The launch of a new ballooning exhibit and ride likely boosted the history park's performance. Revenue from the 1859 Balloon Voyage was double projections at $200,000. Daily admissions rose 4.3 percent to 148,841 for the year. Conner Prairie also saw a 14 percent increase in giving, bringing in $854,710 in donations.

Total revenue and expenses for the year both totaled about $9.5 million. Conner Prairie's budget will remain at the same level for 2010.


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