Riverfront Museum reports lower-than-expected attendance, revenues

May 28, 2013

The Peoria Riverfront Museum Board is reporting lower revenues and attendance than expected for the museum’s first year of operation. The museum group provided a Peoria County Board committee its financials and audit after being more than six months late with the contractually required information.

The report that covers data from October through April shows the facility is operating with a nearly $289,000 deficit. That’s $29,000 more than the PRM board budgeted. And overall attendance was down by about 18,000 people. Cal MacKay is the Treasurer of the museum board. He says overall attendance was impacted by the number of people visiting the Giant Screen Theater. In that area, he says attendance was more than 63-percent lower than estimated.

“We have had technical problems. We had to deal with Hollywood in trying to get films, and so we really didn’t have it operational until mid-December. We see a very positive trend going forward and it’s a spectacular experience if we could just get people to come in and try it. This is the only place they’d see a movie once they experience it.”

MacKay says the museum board is working on a plan to increase the number of people coming through the doors, including the Giant Screen Theater. That will likely include offering package deals and free days. The board is also working on ways to control expenses and better utilize staff.