The attractions have been visited by a wide range of internationally renowned people over the years, from Pres. Jimmy Carter and a Nigerian king to celebrities like Bill Nye and rock star Ozzy Osborne.
Ken Ham, Founder and CEO of AiG and its two attractions, said, “We are delighted with our total visitor numbers, as visitors come here from all over the world. Nationally, our marketing campaign using animated giraffes is ramping up, including TV ads on major networks. It gives me confidence that 2022 will be our best year, especially as we continue to grow and host special events. We saw very high attendance in March.
The Ark Encounter, with a 510-foot-long arch as its centerpiece, and the Creation Museum, with high-tech experiences, are wholesome, family-friendly attractions, where parents and grandparents can take the kids without worrying. care about content and security.
This weekend, the Creation Museum hosted a “living history” event. During “Easter Living History,” numerous re-enactors in accurately recreated costumes provide details of the historical context of Easter and Passover, with three special exhibits: an auxiliary military camp, a currency exchange table, and a bakery.
Guests can interact with re-enactors and learn about Passover in first-century Israel. “Easter Living History” is included with admission to the Creation Museum.
Economic Benefits of Arch Encounter
Brent Cooper, President and CEO of the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, said, “If you’re a hotel owner or restaurant manager in the area, you’re thrilled that 10 million visitors have chosen to come to northern Kentucky to visit the two attractions.
“Think also of all the sales taxes collected by the state from these visitors and the creation of thousands of jobs through the Ark and the museum. I am pleased to report that several more hotels are in the process of being construction or are already on the drawing board to serve future visitors to the Ark and the museum as they continue to flock to our region.Indeed, the attractions have had a remarkable economic impact on the region.
Next to the Ark Encounter parking lot, a large Hampton Inn and Suites (125 rooms) is already under construction, to open in 2023.
Although the state sales tax collected by the Ark Encounter is significant, it represents only a portion of all taxes paid by Ark visitors to the area when staying in hotels, dining in restaurants, refuel, etc., creating a significant economic impact.
L’Arche opened its doors in 2016.
The Ark Encounter paid property taxes to Grant County and the City of Williamstown totaling nearly $4.9 million. Williamstown also instituted a safety assessment fee on the Ark, and through March 2022, the amount paid to the city exceeds $1.7 million.
Over the years, directly and indirectly, L’Arche has added tens of millions of dollars to state and local treasuries, and has seen the construction of several new hotels to meet guest demand, particularly in the towns of Dry Ridge (just north of the Arch) and Florence – while recognizing that many more hotels have yet to be built: on some summer days no hotel rooms are available within an hour’s drive of the Ark. Research has shown that over 92% of visitors to the Ark and museums come from outside of Kentucky.
The Ark, Creation Museum and AiG employ over 1,000 people (full-time, part-time and seasonal at various times), making them significant employers in the region.
What’s new or coming soon?
To encourage visitors to stay longer in the area, the attractions have just announced the creation of a Bouncer Pass. Over a seven-day period, guests can visit the Ark and the museum three times, giving them more time to enjoy other things to do in the area.
With attendance returning to pre-pandemic levels, AiG is working on expansion plans. The hope is to build a future Tower of Babel attraction that, among other things, will tackle issues of racism (showing how all groups of people have developed from a biological race). Ark Encounter’s expansion plans also include the possibility of creating a massive interior mock-up of what Jerusalem might have looked like at the time of Christ (to open possibly in 2024).
An Ark-themed carousel, custom-built in Italy, will open in a few weeks.
Additionally, the Ararat Ridge Zoo behind the Ark continues to expand with the addition of new animals, and soon a new petting zoo. At the Creation Museum, a new 1,000-seat auditorium opens on April 24, and construction of a large conservatory will soon begin in the beautiful Botanical Garden.
“Attendance at the Ark and Creation Museum will only increase as more international visitors resume their travels and bus tours return to levels we have seen before, such as up to 55 tour buses per day,” Ham said. “This summer should be our best season ever, especially as we host the largest Christian music festival in the world at L’Arche, with certain days at the Museum of Creation, called ’40 Days and Nights of gospel music”, which will run from August 2 to September 10.
On certain Saturdays in the summer, the Ark will attract over 9,000 guests and the museum will welcome up to 4,000 visitors.
Last year, the Ark Encounter was named Kentucky’s “most popular attraction” by Attractions Magazine, based on the number of Google reviews. The Ark Encounter and Creation Museum have made northern Kentucky America’s premier faith-based destination.
Encounter with the ark