The GulfQuest Maritime Museum’s newly released attendance numbers for their first year show the attraction has fallen short of expectations. In fact, a 2005 marketing study estimated the museum would draw in over 200,000 thousand visitors in its first year. However, GulfQuest only brought in 80,000 attendees.
At today’s city council meeting council members declined requests to comment on GulfQuest’s woes. Instead, the routed all questions to the Mayor’s office. When asked why the museum could not afford to pay their now $400,000 utility bill Mayor Stimpson said it’s tied to low attendance.
“It is a cash flow challenge. They haven’t had the number of visitors that they had hoped to have so, it’s the amount of cash flow. It’s like your personal bank account if it’s not coming in, it’s not going out,” Stimpson said.
Stimpson says the city is working to garner more interest in the facility, possibly by implementing a better marketing plan.
Mayor Stimpson says the city is still in talks with the museum’s executive committee and they hope to have solutions on the table within the next ten days.