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American Revolution Museum at Yorktown and Jamestown Settlement History Museums Experience Decline in 2018 Visitation, Revenue

WILLIAMSBURG, Va., February 28, 2019 Paid visitation in 2018 at Jamestown Settlement and American Revolution Museum at Yorktown living-history museums operated by the state’s Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, totaled 533,730, a decrease of 12.6 percent from 2017. Admissions revenue amounted to $5,652,533 in 2018, down 9.9 percent.

In 2018, paid attendance at the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown, a new museum dedicated in 2017 to replace the Yorktown Victory Center, totaled 174,043, a decrease of 14.5 percent from the previous year and 5.5 percent behind the five-year average. At Jamestown Settlement, paid attendance was 359,687, a decrease of 11.7 percent.

“We are disappointed with visitation performance in 2018,” said Susan Bak, senior director of Marketing and Retail Operations. “We knew it would be difficult to maintain the momentum in visitation drawn by the opening of the new American Revolution Museum at Yorktown a year earlier.”

“Foundation museums depend on national visitation to the state and region and share visitors with a number of attractions in the area,” Bak said. “We continue to promote the museums as part of the Greater Williamsburg area, including area partners, Colonial Williamsburg, Historic Jamestowne, Yorktown Battlefield as well as Busch Gardens and Water Country USA, to strengthen destination awareness. It appears this challenging visitation trend was shared by numerous attractions in Virginia.”

Ticket sales to individuals accounted for 63 percent of total paid visitation at Jamestown Settlement and the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown in 2018. An estimated 70 percent of individual visitors came from outside Virginia. Group visitation, including school field trips, comprised 37 percent of total paid visitation. (Participation in Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation outreach education programs conducted off site is not included in paid museum visitation.)

While the two living-history museums experienced a decline in paid visitation and admissions revenue in 2018, there was an increase in the Foundation’s cooperative tickets and packages with area attractions, including the America’s Historic Triangle ticket. The ticket provides visitors with seven days of unlimited admission to Jamestown Settlement, Historic Jamestowne, Colonial Williamsburg, Yorktown Battlefield and the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown.

“We were pleased to see select programs deliver positive results during the past year, including a year-over-year four-percent increase in America’s Historic Triangle cooperative tickets,” Bak said. “Looking ahead for 2019, the Williamsburg Tourism Council will invest significantly more in destination advertising, and the 2019 Commemoration will bolster statewide tourism. Jamestown Settlement is serving as a daily stage to support 400th-anniversary themes; the ongoing ‘TENACITY’ special exhibition is getting rave reviews and national coverage; and a major refresh to exhibition galleries will debut this summer.”

In addition to paid visitation, there were a total of 69,834 complimentary admissions to the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation museums in 2018, including children under 6, group escorts, promotional admissions, and residents of the City of Williamsburg and James City and York counties.

Jamestown Settlement, located on State Route 31 just southwest of Williamsburg, features expansive exhibition galleries and films that connect visitors with the lives of the Powhatan, English and west central African cultures that converged at 17th-century Jamestown, and historical interpretation in outdoor re-creations of a Powhatan Indian village, 1607 English ships and colonial fort. Jamestown Settlement is a stage for special exhibitions, events and programs in conjunction with the 2019 Commemoration, American EvolutionTM, honoring the 400th anniversary of key historical events in Virginia in 1619. The “TENACITY: Women in Jamestown and Early Virginia” special exhibition, a 2019 legacy project, explores captivating and little-known stories of Powhatan Indian, English and African women in 17th-century Virginia, and will be accompanied by more than a dozen public lectures, special events and performances.

The American Revolution Museum at Yorktown, located on Route 1020 in Yorktown, features immersive films, exhibition galleries and interactive living-history experiences in outdoor re-creations of a Continental Army encampment and Revolution-era farm. In 2019, the museum will present a range of special programs and a new special exhibition opening June 29 that will examine the role of African Americans during the American Revolution.

Both museums are open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily; closed Christmas and New Year’s days. 2019 general admission is $17.50 for adults and $8.25 for ages 6-12 at Jamestown Settlement, and $15.00 for adults and $7.50 for ages 6-12 at the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown. A value-priced combination ticket for both museums is $26.00 for adults and $12.50 for ages 6 through 12. Children under 6 are free. Residents of James City County, York County and the City of Williamsburg, including College of William and Mary students, receive complimentary admission with proof of residency. A variety of joint tickets is available with other Williamsburg attractions.

Jamestown Settlement and the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown are administered by the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, an agency of the Commonwealth of Virginia accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. For more information, call (888) 593-4682 toll-free or (757) 253-4838 or visit jyfmuseums.org.