Colonial Williamsburg in financial difficulty
#11
Sad    
It has been in the news around here, but I have not seen any mention here.

Colonial Williamsburg is laying off and outsourcing to reduce its financial loss rate.

So far, the areas that tend to bring WNers there like the carpentry shop have not been mentioned as impacted.

Here is one of the overview articles on the local NBC affiliate.



The Kimball Theater has now been closed and the contracts with scheduled events broken. If anyone here already have outstanding tickets for events at the Kimball, the Kimball is currently giving refunds if one contacts them and ask for it.
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#12
  Re: Colonial Williamsburg in financial difficulty by iclark (It has been in the n...)
I havent been there since i was very little and really dont remember much about it. I have been wanting to go but its quite the expensive place to go to all costs considered. Not to mention most outside the east coast have no idea it even exists.
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#13
  Re: Colonial Williamsburg in financial difficulty by iclark (It has been in the n...)
Wife and I recently visited Old World Wisconsin, where they have several homesteads that have been relocated from other parts of the state (and Canada).

From looking around it was clear attendance is way down.  Talking to the docents (young ladies in the houses dressed in period clothing) confirmed this.

Old World Wisconsin has a blacksmith shop (staffed by a young lady making decorative hooks for sale), but no wood shop.  It appears they have difficulty finding men to volunteer (I think many/most of their positions are staffed by volunteers).

I'm not trying to draw comparisons between Old World Wisconsin and Colonial Williamsburg but at least in the case of Old World Wisconsin, it wouldn't hurt them to add some stuff that appealed more to families with young children with an abundance of energy.  Add playgrounds with old-time swings and see-saws.  Add a petting zoo.

In this day and age, you need to do something to compete with small backlit screens.
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#14
  Re: Colonial Williamsburg in financial difficulty by iclark (It has been in the n...)
History is not a priority for the vast majority of people in this country.  Their battle for the tourist dollar is waged against theme parks, water slides, Disneyland, etc.  It's a race to the bottom, the lowest common denominator.  But perhaps the foundation was not managed properly and tried to do too many things, I don't know.  But they're not going anywhere, they still have an healthy endowment north of $700 million; that Rockefeller  money is still around I guess.
Credo Elvem ipsum etiam vivere
Non impediti ratione cogitationis
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#15
  Re: Colonial Williamsburg in financial difficulty by iclark (It has been in the n...)
I went there a few years ago and really enjoyed it.  The wood shop and seeing how the furniture was made was definitely the highlight for me.  Like me, I think a lot of folks visit one time and then check it off the list.
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#16
  Re: Colonial Williamsburg in financial difficulty by iclark (It has been in the n...)
I was there a couple of years ago and it was well attended the two half days I went.  I mean hundreds and hundreds of people to get it in and a steady stream of folks still coming in when I left.  That was in October, IIRC; seems like Summer would be even busier, but I'm sure Winter would be slow with the exception of Christmas perhaps. 

Is the Kimball theater where the actor portraying Lafayette performs?  A one man show that was as entertaining as it was informative - definitely one you'd enjoy seeing if it's still playing.  I also took a tour of the furniture collection.  You would really, really have to be into period furniture to have enjoyed it.  The tour guide was the opposite of the Lafayette performance I had just come from.  I dropped out after 15 minutes.  I did enjoy talking with the two guys at the woodshop.  One of them had a pretty good sweat going hand planing a piece of walnut to thickness, but stopped long enough to show me a copy of a desk he had made with the most delicate dovetailed drawers that fit like pistons in their holes.  Beautiful work and I marveled how they fit so well considering the humidity swings all over the place. 

We enjoyed the enthusiasm and knowledge of the tour guides in the buildings we toured.  Without them the place would have little attraction to most people.  Knowing Washington and others met, ate, and slept there is one thing.  Hearing why they were there and what happened before and after made it so much more real.  I hope management finds a way to keep this national treasure alive.  

John
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#17
  Re: Colonial Williamsburg in financial difficulty by iclark (It has been in the n...)
how do they make money, is it just donations?
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#18
  Re: Colonial Williamsburg in financial difficulty by iclark (It has been in the n...)
Haven't been there in 20 years. It was really nice then- thoroughly enjoyed it. Hate to see it go away.
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#19
  Re: Colonial Williamsburg in financial difficulty by iclark (It has been in the n...)
Maybe they can do something like a work along.  Have 10 to 15 old time buildings and let the people stay there for a week while learning how to do what they wish to learn.  Yes
It is always the right time, to do the right thing.

Hi, I'm Arlin's proud wife! His brain trma & meds-give memory probs and has pain from injuries, but all is well materially & financially.  
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#20
  Re: Colonial Williamsburg in financial difficulty by iclark (It has been in the n...)
My wife and I visited a few years ago. They nickel and dime you to death. You pay $40-50 just to walk through the door, then if you want to see a show or reenactment, it's a another $20 or so. We left underwhelmed. Not surprised they are losing as much money as they are. Monticello was much more interesting.

Bentley
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