City Council Members Sound Off On GulfQuest Closure

Mobile’s GulfQuest Maritime Museum sits on prime waterfront property and is home to premier maritime exhibits. We spoke with city council members this morning who all agreed the museum is one of a kind.

“It is a world-class facility. It’s on the waterfront. It’s beautifully built- it’s the perfect stage,” Council President Gina Gregory said.

“Let me just say I have visited maritime museums all around the world and I’ll put this one up against any of them,” Fred Richardson said.

However, despite all of that the attraction isn’t bring in visitors and isn’t generating any money. On Friday, the Mayor’s Office sent out a press release announcing the closure of the museum due to financial struggles. The wording of the Mayor’s initial release made it sound as if the museum was closing for good, however, when News 5 spoke with him yesterday he said that was not the case.

“Let’s don’t use that word close. We’re in a transitional period right now and we’re not sure how long that’s going to last. It will depend on the input would get could from third parties who could maybe come in and assist us,” Mayor Stimpson said.

GulfQuest has been struggling financially for quite some time, but council members who voted for it years ago say they don’t regret that decision.

“The idea was great, but now since it’s been open a year we need to really tweak it to make it really work the way we want it to. So, that it will bring in more revenue and it will bring in more fun and this will be a really truly bright light on the riverfront, more so than it is right now,” Council President Gina Gregory said.

It is clear that in order for the museum to succeed something will have to change. Mayor Stimpson said yesterday the city was tossing the idea around of bringing in a third party consultant to help generate ideas about the future of the museum. Stimpson says he is not discounting any ideas. However, one thing is certain at least some portion of the facility will have to remain maritime themed due to money that was donated to build the museum.

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