Winter 2018, Vol. 112, No. 3, p. 11ff.
History Museums see visitation and revenue increases
Paid visitation in 2017 at Jamestown Settlement and the new American Revolution Museum at Yorktown, living-history museums operated by the state’s Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, totaled 610,844, an increase of 7.7 percent from 2016. Admissions revenue amounted to $6.2 million in 2017, up 12.3 percent.
Paid attendance at the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown, which held its 13-day Grand Opening Celebration and Dedication in Spring 2017, totaled 203,632, an increase of 25.6 percent from the previous year. At Jamestown Settlement, paid attendance was 407,212, an increase of 0.5 percent.
“Growth in individual and group visitation at the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown is reflective of the positive public response from locals and out-of-town visitors to the new museum,” said Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation Senior Director of Marketing and Retail Operations Susan Bak. “Both museums benefited from extensive media coverage and paid advertising efforts to promote year-round special experiences, exhibitions and events.”
Ticket sales to individuals accounted for 66 percent of total paid visitation at Jamestown Settlement and the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown in 2017. An estimated 76 percent of individual visitors came from outside Virginia. Group visitation, including school field trips, comprised 34 percent of total paid visitation. (Participation in Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation outreach education programs conducted off-site is not included in paid museum visitation.)
“We saw resounding success from an increased investment in digital advertising, national public relations and a Virginia-focused radio campaign to promote the new American Revolution Museum at Yorktown and Jamestown Settlement,” Bak said. “Our story included information about ticket and package offers that included area partners, Colonial Williamsburg, Historic Jamestowne, Yorktown
Battlefield, as well as Busch Gardens and Water Country USA, to strengthen the area’s prominence as one of the nation’s premier American Revolution destinations.”
In addition to paid visitation, there were a total of 78,801 complimentary admissions at the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation museums in 2017, including children under 6, group escorts, promotional admissions and residents of the City of Williamsburg and James City and York counties.
The new American Revolution Museum at Yorktown, located on Route 1020, features immersive films, exhibition galleries and interactive living-history experiences in outdoor re-creations of a Continental Army encampment and Revolution-era farm. This year, the museum will present a range of special programs and a special exhibition opening in June that will examine American, French and British artillery used on all fronts of the American Revolution.
Jamestown Settlement, on State Route 31 just southwest of Williamsburg, features expansive exhibition galleries and films that connect visitors with the lives of the Powhatan, English and west-central African cultures that converged at 17th-century Jamestown, and historical interpretation in outdoor re-creations of a Powhatan village, 1607 English ships and Colonial fort. Special events and lectures will be offered throughout the year, including a year=long exhibition debuting in November that will explore captivating and little-known stories of the women in Jamestown and early Virginia, in observance of the 400th anniversary of key historical events in Virginia with the 2019 Commemoration, American Evolution.
Both museums are open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily; and are closed Christmas and New Year’s days. General admission is $17 for adults and $8 for ages 6 through 12 at Jamestown Settlement; and $15 for adults and $7.50 for ages 6 through 12 at the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown. A value-priced combination ticket for both museums is $25.50 for adults and $12.25 for ages 6 through 12. Children under 6 are admitted free. Residents of James City County, York County and the City of Williamsburg, including College of William and Mary students, receive complimentary admission with proof of residency. Joint tickets with other Williamsburg attractions also are available.
Jamestown Settlement and the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown are administered by the Jamestown- Yorktown Foundation, an agency of the Commonwealth of Virginia, accredited by the American Alliance of Museums.
For more information, call 1-888-593-4682 toll-free or (757) 253-4838 or visit this website.