Thursday, March 19, 2009
More interesting reports regarding museums and the down-turned economy. According to the recently released economic census, museums saw a 54% increase in receipts between 2002 and 2007, whereas theme parks, casinos and other competing leisure time destinations only increased 32%. AAM President Ford Bell is quoted as citing the fact that more museums tend to focus on value-added (my term, not his) ancillaries to round out one's visit to a museum, such as improved dining and shopping experiences. But casinos and theme parks offer all of those "enhancements" (Bell's word) and enticements, too. So why the significant difference in the increases? Is it that the entertainment industry has been offering value-added experiences for longer, so they didn't have as far up to go? Or is that the American public really does love museums that much more than gambling and Mickey Mouse? I sure hope it's the latter rather than the former... What do you think?