Gettysburg Fee Decision Fact Sheet, October 2008

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Gettysburg Fee Decision Fact Sheet, October 2008 Powered By Docstoc
					            Fact Sheet Regarding the Decision to Amend the Fee Structure
        at the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center

Summary: The National Park Service           the Visitor Center, the Refreshment
(NPS) and the Gettysburg Foundation          Saloon, the Museum Store, exhibits in
have decided to charge a single              the Theater and Museum Lobbies, and
admission fee for venues at the              the Resource Room remain free. There
Gettysburg National Military Park            is no charge for parking or for the
Museum and Visitor Center, including         numerous Ranger programs provided in
museum exhibits, the film, and the           the height of the visitor season.
Cyclorama Painting. The Gettysburg           Students, scholars and visitors may still
Foundation will collect the fee as part of   conduct research in the park’s archival
its responsibilities as operators of the     and museum collections for free, by
museum.                                      appointment.

The new “all-in-one” ticket is $7.50 for     What if I’m staying for multiple days?
adults--considerably lower than the $12      In order to encourage longer stays in the
previously planned for the film and          Gettysburg area, multi-day passes will
Cyclorama programs alone. The fee            be available for the following fees:
allows the Foundation to create a higher
value for visitors, and encourages           Two-Day Passes
multiple opportunities to enjoy the               Adult                    $10
venues during their visit.                        Youth (ages 6-18)        $8

What are the new fees?                       Three-Day Passes
                                                   Adult                   $15
Adult                          $   7.50            Youth (ages 6-18)       $12
Seniors and Military           $   6.50
Adult group (16+ visitors)     $   6.50      Can I still afford to visit numerous
Youth (ages 6-18)              $   5.50      times throughout the year? Yes. In
Youth group (16+ visitors)     $   5.00      order to accommodate the large numbers
                                             of repeat visitors to Gettysburg, a new
Please note the change in the Youth rate.    annual pass will provide unlimited
It now includes ages 6 though 18, where      admission to all three venues for a year
the proposal had previously only             for $32 per person or $63 per family.
included ages 6 through 12. This would       The annual pass will include a
make a visit more affordable for families    complimentary membership in the
and school groups of all ages.               Friends of Gettysburg. Current Friends
                                             members can use their membership card
Will you have a discount price for           at the ticket counter for free admission.
Senior Citizens and Military? Yes,
$6.50.                                       Will you have complimentary tickets
                                             for group chaperones? For every ten
What will continue to be free? There         students in a student group, one adult
will be no charge to enter the Visitor       chaperone will receive free admission.
Center and Gettysburg National Military      For non-student groups, for every 40
Park (the entire battlefield and the         visitors in a group, one person receives
Soldiers’ National Cemetery). Use of         free admission.

           Fact Sheet Regarding the Decision to Amend the Fee Structure
       at the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center

Community Appreciation Days – The            Won’t the donors be upset to learn
Park and the Foundation are committed        that you’re charging a fee for a
to welcoming our local communities on        museum that was supposed to be free?
four fee-free community appreciation         According to the Foundation, many of
days per year. The dates will be             the project’s major donors support the
announced in advance in the local news       idea of charging for the museum
media and will include: Veterans Day;        exhibits.
Martin Luther King Day; Presidents
Day; and a “Back to School” day each         Will you honor Golden Age and
year in early September.                     Golden Eagle passes, now known as
                                             the America the Beautiful – National
Affordability for Underprivileged            Parks and Federal Recreation Lands
Schools – The Gettysburg Foundation          Passes? No, since the fees collected in
intends to work with the philanthropic       the new Museum and Visitor Center are
community to aid in funding school           not National Park fees, but Gettysburg
visits to Gettysburg for underprivileged     Foundation fees.
schools in Harrisburg, York, and other
areas in order to ensure that                How do these fees compare with other
underprivileged school students are able     attractions in and around
to experience the new Gettysburg             Gettysburg? The Park and the
National Military Park Museum and            Foundation researched the fees for area
Visitor Center.                              attractions so that the new fees would be
                                             on a par with the going rates for the area.
Didn’t taxpayers build the facility and
therefore it should always be free? –        Why is the lighting level in the
The majority of the funds used to build      museum galleries so dark? Specialists
the new museum was raised by the             from the National Park Service Harpers
Foundation and came from 40,000              Ferry Center will be looking at lighting
private donors such as corporations,         levels in the museum to determine if we
foundations, and individuals. And many       can brighten the lighting to make
National Parks – even those that were        exhibits more readable without
fully funded by taxpayers’ dollars – do      damaging the fragile paper and textiles
have admission fees.                         in the cases.

Since the majority of the artifact           What does the Gettysburg Foundation
collections was donated shouldn’t the        do with its revenues? The Gettysburg
museum remain free? None of the              Foundation’s annual budget contains
collections acquired by the NPS through      three distinct program areas: the
the generosity of hundreds of donors has     Museum/Visitor Center operating
restrictions against the charging of fees.   budget, the Membership Programs and
In addition, entire National Parks have      Development budget, and Capital
been created through donations,              Campaign budget.
including Eisenhower National Historic
Site and Acadia National Park. These         The Membership Programs and
sites frequently have admission fees.        Development budget and the Capital

              Fact Sheet Regarding the Decision to Amend the Fee Structure
          at the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center

Campaign budget are self-sufficient and       Would revenues from the Electric
do not draw upon revenues from the            Map have solved the revenue shortfall
operating budget, and are not affected by     problems of the Foundation? No. By
the collection of fees.                       the time it closed, visitation at the
                                              Electric Map had fallen by more than
Revenues generated by the facility –          45% from its high point in 1994.
from bookstore sales, food services, and      Annual gross revenues from Electric
ticket sales - are devoted exclusively to     Map ticket sales were less than
four obligations:                             $778,000.

1. Pay down long-term debt on the             What’s happening with the Electric
   facility.                                  Map? Weighing more than 12 tons, and
2. Pay all operating and maintenance          covered with friable asbestos, the
   costs of the facility.                     Electric Map is proving to be an
3. Establish building and equipment           engineering challenge for the National
   reserve funds.                             Park Service. The Park is committed to
4. Provide an annual donation to              carefully removing the map from the
   Gettysburg National Military Park          Visitor Center building before
   and the National Park Service.             demolition and carefully storing it for
                                              some future use in the park or possible
Salaries of the Foundation’s senior           transfer to another nonprofit
management are allocated across all           organization for educational use.
three budgets according to each
employee’s involvement in a particular
budget area. For example, the
Foundation President’s salary is
allocated among all three budget areas,
as much of his time is devoted to Capital
Campaign and Development efforts.

The Foundation not only operates the
new Museum and Visitor Center on
behalf of the National Park Service, but
they are also in the midst of a $125
million Campaign to Preserve