The Journal Star reports:
Attendance was lower and the red ink was deeper than expected during the Peoria Riverfront Museum’s first year. …Board leaders pointed to a growing realization that the original White Oaks consultant study done prior to construction of the museum didn’t offer realistic projections.
It wasn’t lower and deeper than expected by this publication. The Peoria Chronicle analyzed museum attendance projections back in January 2009 and concluded they were wildly optimistic. This site predicted the actual attendance figures would be at least 22% lower than the numbers touted by museum officials. In a report given to the Peoria County Board, museum officials disclosed that attendance is actually 24.3% below projections.
The non-IMAX theater attendance is 45.8% below expectations. That’s significant because much of the hoped-for profitability of the museum was tied to projected revenues from the theater. When museum officials decided to go with a generic “Giant Screen Theater” instead of a promised IMAX-brand theater, this publication also predicted that that decision would result in lower theater attendance and be a bigger blow to museum revenues than lower attendance to the exhibits. Indeed, overall earned revenue is 46.8% below expectations.
Well, the good news for museum folks is that no one will be held accountable for these gross miscalculations, and the county will continue to receive your tax money to pay off the bonds used to build this white (gray?) elephant.