BOONSHOFT MUSEUM HAS RECORD-SETTING YEAR -- On-site visitors exceeds 200,000 for first time

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BOONSHOFT MUSEUM HAS RECORD-SETTING YEAR -- On-site visitors exceeds 200,000 for first time

Jan 18, 2012


January 18, 2012
Contact: Kristy Creel
937-275-7431 ext. 142

(Dayton, OH) The Boonshoft Museum of Discovery enjoyed a record year in 2011, achieving several high marks in attendance and revenue. Most notably, the Museum welcomed a record number of on-site visitors through its front doors.

“Having a benchmark year like this supports our Board of Trustee’s decision to maintain an aggressive strategy of development in recent years,” notes Mark J. Meister, President and CEO of the Dayton Society of Natural History (DSNH). “Continuing to create new exhibits and upgrade existing ones with the latest information, as well as offering strong STEM learning content, was seen as an investment in our community that has paid dividends to visitors of all ages – and now to the Museum itself.”

Total Number of On-Site Visitors Exceeds 200,000

With a final attendance of 205,878 in 2011, the Boonshoft Museum visitorship was up 9.2% from the previous year – which was also a record-setting year for the Museum. Members of the community and visitors to the region enjoyed traveling exhibitions and reaped the benefits of recent improvements, including the new Discovery Zoo, Cassano’s Pizza Kitchen/foodSMART Grocery Store, Kids’ PLAYce, PNC Be Green House, Sun Room/Hall of the Universe, and Splash!

Plans for continued exhibition development in 2012 include the re-opening of the updated MeadWestvaco Treehouse, upgrades to the Courthouse and Vet Hospital, and renovations in the Caryl D. Philips Space Theater.

The number of visitors to the Boonshoft Museum is only part of the DSNH story for 2011, as combined attendance for the Society was 295,157. These 90,000 additional individuals were served through the Museum’s award-winning Exhibits-To-Go program, at SunWatch Indian Village/Archaeological Park, and at Fort Ancient.

The Boonshoft Museum also set records in two other categories in 2011: Paid Admissions and Gift Shop Revenue.

Paid Admissions Revenue Up 19%

A second category in which the Museum set records was paid admissions. The real story may lie in the increased number of adults visiting the Boonshoft Museum. The Museum saw an increase in the adult to child ratio in attendance, and a corresponding 19% increase in revenue from paid admissions. This may be most attributable to the number of families who visit together, as well as the introduction of exhibits that appeal to adults. Exhibits such as Science On a Sphere®, the Sun Room, and even the Discovery Zoo have proved to hold multi-generational appeal, capturing the interest of visitors of all ages.

“The increase in adult paid admissions reflects the multi-faceted role that the Boonshoft plays in the community as Dayton’s natural history museum, science center, children’s museum, planetarium, observatory’ and zoo,” says Meister.

Gift Shop Revenue Up 13%

In spite of the renovations that reduced the Museum’s Discoveries shop to a lobby kiosk for several months, gift shop revenue was also at an all-time high in 2011. With a 13% increase in revenue from the previous year, Discoveries took advantage of new merchandising strategies and a modern look to offer appealing options for visitors.

“The decision to renovate the Discoveries shop speaks to our commitment to provide a quality experience that begins the moment guests enter our doors and continues long after, by offering the type of merchandise that extends learning opportunities after the Museum visit,” notes Diane Farrell, Vice President, External Relations.

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