I hope you had a wonderful and safe Independence Day weekend! I am just returning from a camping excursion with my immediate family in the California Sierra’s. It was relaxing and beautiful to say the least.
I stayed in close touch with the happenings aboard the ship on a daily basis during my vacation. As you may be aware, the State and County rolled back openings last Wednesday to assist in addressing the increase in Covid-19 cases. This resulted in the team adjusting our operation accordingly including suspensions of interior programs and tours. It also appears that our visitors are heeding the stay at home order, as our attendance once again dropped significantly.
Over the past weekend, our attendance was approximately 10% of our normal July 4th numbers. We continue in the 10% range coming into this week and suspect that this will occur for the near future or until urban tourism begins to rebound. I say urban, because I did see a significant number of campers on the road with most campsites sold out last week. I have also heard that RV sales are all at an all-time high!
As I have mentioned before, this will be a tough ride for our organization and crew. Our thoughts and prayers continue to go out to our family that has (and continues to be) affected by Covid-19. Thank you to our crew and donors that continue to step up to support the Battleship USS Iowa Museum. We couldn’t do it without you!
On the future front, we announced our first National Museum of the Surface Navy webcast on DSCA / Humanitarian Assistance last week. You can view this webcast on our YouTube channel at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PSPBziSTS84&t=240s. Along with this announcement, we also release our public phase of our Plank Owner program for the National Museum. You can sign up for multiple levels (including free) at https://www.surfacenavymuseum.org.
We have numerous meetings on near and long-term planning over the coming 7 to 10 days. We will be taking on the difficult topic of weathering this pandemic, the tremendous support of our donors and crew supporting us, and our plans for a continued reopening.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all that you do to spread our message, support your ship, and keep the American spirit alive!