I begin this week’s message with thoughts going out towards the firefighters that are fighting the devastating wildfires throughout the State of California. We are truly blessed to have proud Americans willing to put their lives on the line every day to ensure our life and property is protected.
The weather continues to be warm and the humidity on the high side. As you can imagine, with our efforts to preserve critical funds, we’re not running air conditioning, so it is warm aboard IOWA. I encourage all of our crew and supporters to stay hydrated at home and on board. I fell victim to forgetting to hydrate the past couple of days and it took a little bit to realize what was occurring. I quickly rebounded, but please don’t let this be you!
We are seeing some bright spots more recently in visitation with this past weekend’s attendance at 42% of last years. This is probably our best weekend since we reopened, but we are not quite ready to declare a victory in the battle. Traffic throughout the waterfront was noticeably up the past few days and I believe people are beginning to feel a bit more confident. There was an article in the recent newspaper that highlighted some good news with cases and hospitalizations declining in Los Angeles. You can read this article here.
During the weekdays, we are seeing our busiest times in the afternoon. This trend is completely opposite of what we experienced prior to the pandemic with most of our visitation coming in the morning. I can only speculate, but I believe we are seeing more local visitation recently; we have seen more families coming aboard. The IOWA is a great opportunity to help support the virtual school and education initiatives underway at our local school districts. We are also working with school districts to offer virtual field-trips of the IOWA and are deeply appreciative to all of our donors who continue to support programs such as these.
A quick reminder… Please consider supporting our Operation Crush COVID campaign with a donation of any amount. This donation goes towards our continuing efforts to offer education, veterans, and community programs while maintaining the ship.
As we begin planning to battle the long-term effects of the pandemic to our organization, the crew will be focused on new and innovative online engagement initiatives. On Tuesday, we will be discussing these ideas with the remaining staff (66% less than we had on March 1, 2020) to discuss how we can work with the entire crew and supporter community to execute on these initiatives. We look forward to reporting on these in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!
Last week, I participated in a webinar on making the hard decisions during the pandemic. The audience was primarily from the museum and attractions industry. Thank you to IOWA board member Vanessa Lewis for asking me to participate. I created a short presentation to describe some of the tactics and strategies we have utilized during these challenging times. You can view the slides here, in the event you may find some use out of them.
In closing, I want to send a shout out to the sailors from USS Iowa PCU -797 for their recovery efforts in the State of Iowa. Shortly after the derecho, sailors from the in-construction submarine loaded up their vehicles with supplies and tools to help the citizens of Iowa. This selfless service highlights the role of our military service members throughout the world to respond when in need. It was an honor to see these sailors help a state that has been instrumental in saving the very battleship that we support and display daily. You can follow them on Facebook here.
Thank you for your continued support of the Battleship IOWA and the future National Museum of the Surface Navy.
P.S. Please consider supporting our Operation Crush Covid and National Museum of the Surface Navy Plank Owner program.