Monday, September 13, 2010

On Taft Wireback’s GSO N&R’s article on the Civil Rights Museum and the proposed Downtown Hotel

"…the International Civil Rights Center & Museum…is unlikely [to] make its attendance goal for the year.

The museum hosted about 40,000 visitors in the six months after its gala opening Feb. 1. That means attendance probably won’t hit 200,000 through next January, the number supporters predicted it could lure each year to the center city.

If the museum brought in 40,000 visitors in the first six months,
and is able to achieve the same numbers in the second six months,
will the first year actual attendance be about 40% of projections?

40,000 x 2 = 80,000

80,000 / 200,000 = 40%

But museum leaders say 200,000 is a fitting target only after several years of program development, a distinction that wasn’t made clear in years of discussion and debate leading to the museum’s debut last winter.

How could some describe statements
explaining/amending prior promotional rhetoric,
only after lofty projections fall short?

“We’ve just started,” said Melvin “Skip” Alston, chairman of the museum’s management committee and the Guilford County Board of Commissioners. “Three or four years, once we get it all together, then that’s when we’ll be averaging 200,000 a year.

If Skip Alston is a proponent of the Downtown Hotel,
and intends to profit from its creation
across the street from the Civil Rights Museum, of which he is a part owner
after the County Commissioners approved new Ethics Guidelines…?

“… Once we get our whole organization up and running, yes, 200,000, I don’t see that being a problem.”

How much could the City of Greensboro and Guilford County
have to pay to support downtown Greensboro’s Civil Rights Museum,
if projected revenues fall short of what may have been overly optimistic estimates?

…So far, the vast majority of visitors — 83 percent, or about 33,200 — have come from North Carolina. More than half of those were Greensboro, High Point or Winston-Salem residents.

If 83% of the Civil Rights Museum’s visitors
probably won’t stay at a luxury Hotel in downtown Greensboro,
why has almost every press release and news story about the proposed hotel
mentioned its proximity to the museum?

A recent report on attendance from February through July showed that despite widespread publicity about the new museum, only 5.5 percent of visitors — about 2,175 — hailed from beyond North Carolina and the nearby states of Virginia, South Carolina and Tennessee.

If Skip Alston is involved with a museum
whose attendance projections are 60% off after opening on February 1st, 2010
and Mr. Alston also has a financial stake in a hotel across the street,
whose feasibility projections changed dramatically within the 30 days,
between January 18th, 2010 and February 16th, 2010…?

The museum runs on a yearly budget of about $3.1 million, with major revenue sources including ticket sales to visitors, fees from special programs, corporate contributions and annual donations from philanthropic sources such as the museum’s 1960 Society support group.

…Adults pay $10 each to tour the exhibits. Students and senior citizens get a $2 discount, and children ages 6 to 12 are charged $6 each.

If a quarter of the museum’s attendees for the first six months are children ages 6 to 12:

$6 x 10,000 = $60,000

And a quarter are senior citizens or students:

$8 x 10,000 = $60,000

And half pay full price:

$10 x 20,000 = $200,000

If the museum matches the first half of its first year with the second half:

$60,000 + $60,000 + $200,000 = $320,000

$320,000 x 2 = $640,000

And the annual budget is about $3.1 million:

$640,000 - $3,100,000 = $2,460,000

Are “fees from special programs, corporate contributions
and annual donations from philanthropic sources”
going to make up the $2,460,000 every year?

…Its debut brought the community a valuable slice of national limelight, said Henri Fourrier, president of the Greensboro Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The same Henri Fourrier
who sold Greensboro’s electorate on an Aquatic Center/Swimmer Aquarium
with a non-independent, non third party “hypothetical”
which some consider fraudulent,
that could most likely cost Greensboro millions
in principal, interest, operating and maintenance costs?

…The plan to draw more visitors, Alston said, aims at an assortment of targets, including many of the state’s fifth-grade schoolchildren, high-profile corporations, and lawyers who need continuing education credits to keep their licenses in good standing.


Alston wants to work with local and state education officials to bring every fifth-grader within a driving radius of about 90 minutes to the museum as part of their curriculum. He’d like to schedule visits for the region’s eighth-graders, as well.


If the museum could make arrangements like that with 50 or 60 school districts, Alston said, “that would be more than 200,000 kids right there.”


…What the museum really needs is an endowment that would make it more financially independent and self-sustaining, said state Rep. Earl Jones, Alston’s partner in leading efforts to develop the museum in the mid-1990s.

If Skip Alston and Earl Jones own the museum’s property,
are they receiving rental payments?

Jones is working toward congressional approval of a U.S. Mint commemorative coin featuring the civil rights museum, which he believes could net more than $25 million and give the South Elm Street center an enduring nest egg. He has met with federal officials about the concept, but it will take several years to make happen, Jones said.

He also would like to add a display similar to those at Walt Disney World that use robotic figures."

…museum leaders say 200,000 is a fitting target
only after several years of program development,
a distinction that wasn’t made clear
in years of discussion and debate leading to the museum’s debut last winter...

Taft Wireback
Greensboro News & Record
Guilford County Commissioners Public Hearing for Downtown Hotel Project: September 16th

Downtown Hotel Math Myths: If total Greensboro occupancy stays the same…

Downtown Hotel Questions

On Joe Killian's Downtown Hotel story in the Greensboro News & Record


Anonymous said...

You've missed the biggest travesty about the Civil Rights Museum story. The single largest demographic group to visit the museum comes from students, their admissions fees are paid by the schools with taxpayer dollars, what a deal. Same with "summer program" children. You really need to be asking about this. Are GCS funds paying to send students to the museum? Are GC grants that fund programs paying for kids to attend the museum?

Anonymous said...

I Skip Alston is a Guilford County Commissioner, who partly owns the museum and allocates County dollars to the school system, what percentage of the Civil Rights Museum's revenues are recieved from Guilford County Schools?

Mike J Baron said...

The Civil Rights Museum only achieved a fraction of its projected attendance and the News & Record reports the shortfall of visitors as news.

The new Guilford County Jail population reaches only a fraction of what the county projected the need would be and the Rhino Times reported the story as news.

But the City of Greensboro's 1995 projections of skyrocketing water use that demonstrated the need for the Randleman Dam NEVER CAME TRUE and yet the news media refuses to report the 15 YEAR DECLINE IN WATER USE!

Thanks to a news media cover-up the citizens still don't know that while the water works was being expanded by 75% while the need for more water never materialized.

A 2009 telephone survey confirmed that 96% of Greensboro's citizens falsely believe that water use is still escalating. To learn more about Greensboro's water fraud Google dam scam.