FVA: Charging for attractions ‘not feasible’Charging admission to get into Jamestown tourist attractions wouldn’t be a feasible way to raise money, the Frontier Village Association agreed Thursday.
By: By Kari Lucin, The Jamestown Sun, The Jamestown Sun
Charging admission to get into Jamestown tourist attractions wouldn’t be a feasible way to raise money, the Frontier Village Association agreed Thursday.
“It’s not a workable deal,” said Charlie Tanata, FVA chairman.
If Frontier Village were to charge admission, it would need to place a ticket booth in the middle of the road leading into the village and staff it for two shifts a day, seven days a week, said Tina Busche, the village’s manager.
Busche calculated that would cost the village $29,299.
Tanata also questioned what would happen to the National Buffalo Museum, which charges its own admission fee. People have to pass through Frontier Village to get to the museum, and could potentially be charged admission twice.
Nina Sneider, executive director of the Buffalo City Tourism Foundation, estimated that if Jamestown began charging for its tourist attractions, attendance would drop to 2004 levels.
The idea of charging to attend Jamestown tourist attractions, including Frontier Village, the Buffalo Museum and the Stutsman County Memorial Museum, was suggested by Mayor Katie Andersen at a meeting of the Jamestown City Council, during discussions about renewing the city’s contract with the BCTF.
At a Dec. 4 meeting, the City Council approved a four-year contract with BCTF that funds the organization at $299,320 a year for two years, with further funding to be negotiated.
During that meeting, Andersen suggested collecting $5 per car from 50,000 cars a year would net tourism $250,000. She said 50,000 cars a year would be half the current traffic at the tourism sites.
However, Sneider pointed out at Thursday’s FVA meeting that the figure of 100,000 cars per year is not correct — there are an estimated 100,000 people per year, which translates to about 22,000 cars.
Using Andersen’s method of calculation, which assumes that traffic to the attractions would decrease by 50 percent, a $5 per car fee would net the tourism attractions $55,000 a year.
Subtracting the projected costs of building and staffing a ticket booth as calculated by Busche, that would mean a projected profit of $25,701. If that were divided equally between the five tourist attractions in Jamestown, each would receive $5,140.20 in the first year.
That number assumes that no other attractions would incur extra costs from taking tickets, and that no costs would be associated with the accounting necessary to divide the funds between the attractions.
As of Thursday, the BCTF had not received the contract the City Council approved on Dec. 4, Sneider said.
Its old contract runs out Dec. 31, and BCTF still has to vote on whether to approve the new contract.
“We don’t know if our board is going to accept it,” Sneider said. “It still has to jump through some hoops, yet.”
Sun reporter Kari Lucin can be reached at 701-952-8453
or by email at email@example.com