Ticket sales were down by 20 percent for the first quarter of this year compared with last year at the
"That's costing us
He's had to cut workers' hours but so far hasn't laid off anyone.
The museum, on
Admission to the Arizona is free, but visitors must have a ticket, which means reserving one online for
The reservation system, recreation.gov, allows one to reserve up to 65 tickets at once up to six months in advance.
DeHoff suspects that tour companies are scooping up all the online tickets to be used as part of their own tours. So when individuals try to reserve them, all they see is "Sold Out" in red letters for whatever date they select.
The reservation system doesn't let people know that more tickets are available at the box office.
"What they don't know is another 2,200 tickets (a day) are available," he said. "We're finding people aren't coming."
Despite pleas to make changes to the website, altering the software is difficult and slow and must compete with requests for changes from other locations, he said.
The Arizona Memorial is operated by the
About a year ago the three nonprofits began offering a joint ticket called the Passport to
All three paid attractions and an audio tour for the Arizona Memorial are offered for
But when a would-be visitor tries to reserve the joint ticket on recreation.gov, the same problem crops up. On Sunday the website showed the next available USS Arizona ticket was at
DeHoff said last year that 25,000 tickets were sold through the recreation.gov system, amounting to 10 percent of all tickets sold by the aviation museum. The aviation museum uses other websites as well.
And aviation museum personnel continue to work on getting the word out to concierge desks at hotels, through social media and up to a dozen different websites that walk-in tickets are available, especially in the afternoon.
"Those of us that participate in the
DeHoff began cutting hours for staff members late last month. "I'm working tooth-and-nail that we cut everything else but the staffing," he said.
"Our visitation is strongly linked to the overall visitation to
Representatives of the Bowfin and the
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