On 2/02/08, the JS reported that the Lincoln Museum is upping admission costs from $ to $10 effective March 1. Attendance in the first year the museum opened was 575,000 and dropped to 490,000 in 2nd year. A "decline in attendance could be expected after a new facility is opened", says Director Rick Beard. "It takes three to four years to establish a baseline".
The library and museum's annual budget is about 12.8 million of which 8.25 million comes from the State of Illinois. This budget figures also cover Union Station and Union Square Park.
The yearly operating projections for the Peoria Museum appears to be slightly in excess of 4 million and in combination with the Caterpillar Visitor Center appears to expect 360,000combined visitors per year. An annual one half million dollar fund drive for the Peoria Museum is planned each year. The Visitors Center finances will be the responsibility of Caterpillar.
As a referendum publicity drive gears up to be launched in April, this site will shed as much tranparency on this project as facts are available.