They were supposed to come two by two, or better yet, stuffed into minivans and tour buses, but tourists to Kentucky’s life-sized Noah’s Ark attraction so far seem fine being left out in the rain.
The Ark Encounter has sold just over 860,000 tickets in the past year, according to the (Louisville, KY) Courier Journal, which obtained the numbers via a Freedom of Information request. That’s just one third of the high-end estimates park officials made when the attraction opened in 2016.
The numbers were gathered from July 2017 through June 2018. Park officials initially estimated the Ark would bring between 1.4 million and 2.4 million visitors per year.
Ark Encounter officials say the numbers are accurate, but don’t reflect total visitors, though they declined to clarify that number. (Children under the age of 5, for instance, are admitted free.)
Wandering through the Ark isn’t cheap. Adult tickets run from $48-$70. (An annual pass is $100.) The attraction also has a zoo, ziplining, and a 75,000-square-foot sister attraction — the Creator Museum, which “brings the pages of the Bible to life,” according to its website. It’s open all year, except for Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day.
The Ark Encounter is one of several narrowly-themed theme parks that has opened throughout the world in recent years. France has a wine-themed park, for instance. There’s a Norse theme park in Demark. And Italy, last year, opened the ‘Disneyland of Pasta’.