Colonial Williamsburg in financial difficulty
#31
  Re: Colonial Williamsburg in financial difficulty by iclark (It has been in the n...)
The differentiation in this is for the company running it, it's not a business, so none of what you are saying is valid. The administering company will not own it, just run it. So if they run it effectively and their contract is for (pulling this out of the air, just to make the point) 25 million, and they only use 18 mil, they made a tidy profit for "running it." Conversely if they use 27.5, they lost their butt. But if you chop out greed, and largess of a heavy board, and weak managers, they actually aren't doing less at the gate, they just never learned how to run it, as the free fun salary was more important. If like most "bored members" the most work they do is rubbing elbows with rich folks at dinners, and meet to find out how to make more $$$$$$ off the place.
Worst thing they can do is cook ya and eat ya

GW
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#32
  Re: Colonial Williamsburg in financial difficulty by iclark (It has been in the n...)
Often, like the threads about TTS buying SawStop in some fourms, people can jump into conclusions about business decisions or financial outcomes based on limited information. If things are that simple, many can claim a profession as an auditor or management consultant (the certified kind, I know these days many without an advanced degree call themselves a consultant).

"Run it like a business," or "Don't run it like a business" is often suggested by outsiders as a solution to an organization gone wrong, who know nothing or little about what REALLY caused the ship sinking. When a public service went bad, people asked it to be privatized; when a private model failed to deliver, people (sometimes the same people!) called on the (new?) government to make the service a government's responsibility.

Simon
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#33
  Re: Colonial Williamsburg in financial difficulty by iclark (It has been in the n...)
I'll be there in a couple of weeks, for at least the tenth time (generally a layover stop on the way to the beach). As long as it exists, I'll visit.

But.....to may way of thinking, they've priced themselves out of typical families visiting, and in fact, through the last 25 years I've stopped, you see fewer families today than years ago. You also see amenities (golf course, higher end hotels, etc.) that are not aimed at families.

So...what were the original goals of the Rockefellers, when the restoration began? We don't know and we're making suppositions without seeing a P/L statement, to see where money is going. There is a huge difference between extravagant salaries for a board (Again a supposition), and huge, needed expenditures on physical plant. All I know is that CW is pricing itself away from visitors, plus nickel/diming visitors when they get there.
Waiting to grow up beyond being just a member
http://www.metaltech-pm.com
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#34
  Re: Colonial Williamsburg in financial difficulty by iclark (It has been in the n...)
what does it cost to go there?  Are there tickets? I lived in Virginia when I was a kid and went there many times.  Since we live far enough away now that it's quite a trip, my kids never went there when they were young.
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#35
  Re: Colonial Williamsburg in financial difficulty by iclark (It has been in the n...)
Local Baltimore radio station did an interview a couple weeks ago with the Williamsburg Foundation CEO. Listening to it, the CEO pointed to a declining visitor base and the for-profit operations (hotels, golf courses, commercial real estate). The for-profit operations aren't profitable and haven't been for years, despite huge amounts of investments. They are going to out-source much or all of the for-profit operations. Interview with the CEO

They are getting about half the attendance compared to the 70's and 80's. My wife and l love the place but when we took the our kids there 20 years ago they couldn't wait to leave. With today's digital generation it has to be even tougher.

Interestingly, they've recently added musket shooting and ax throwing (public participation) to the things one can do there.
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#36
  Re: Colonial Williamsburg in financial difficulty by iclark (It has been in the n...)
Online tickets are about $50 for a single day admission. These tickets will not get you into the theater or museums.

Without an examination of their P/L and balance sheet, we can only speculate about their problems. In any case, CW is too much of an American treasure to see decline.
Waiting to grow up beyond being just a member
http://www.metaltech-pm.com
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#37
  Re: Colonial Williamsburg in financial difficulty by iclark (It has been in the n...)
Their best deals revolve around staying a few days, and also visiting Jamestown, and Yorktown. We usually do a 3 day pass for all of the areas, and for the 2 of us I feel it's way cheaper than anything Disney.


Ticket info
Worst thing they can do is cook ya and eat ya

GW
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#38
  Re: Colonial Williamsburg in financial difficulty by iclark (It has been in the n...)
(07-11-2017, 10:00 AM)joe1086 Wrote: They are getting about half the attendance compared to the 70's and 80's. My wife and l love the place but when we took the our kids there 20 years ago they couldn't wait to leave. With today's digital generation it has to be even tougher.

Interestingly, they've recently added musket shooting and ax throwing (public participation) to the things one can do there.

According to their 2015 IRS filing, income from admissions fees was $19M.  Double that, and you're still $24M away from just breaking even.  I think their foray into hotels and the like did them in.

Now, at least for me, ax throwing may cause me to make the trip.  Last fall, I went on a retreat in the Sierra Mountains where they had ax throwing.  I was the all-time champion ax thrower.  And prior to that, I'd never thrown an ax.  My first throw stuck, and it just seemed natural after that.  I couldn't get a hatchet to stick to save my life, but the ax was my weapon of choice.  I also shot skeet and bow and arrow.  Did exceptionally well with the bow as well.  I told my cop friend that any intruder to my home was more likely to die from an ax or an arrow than a shotgun.  He laughed and said, "Now that would be cool to read in the paper.  Intruder killed with an ax."
Still Learning,

Allan Hill
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#39
  Re: Colonial Williamsburg in financial difficulty by iclark (It has been in the n...)
I went to Williamsburg around 1990, and I remember it was expensive back then. However, I enjoyed it, and would do it again.

I spent a rainy afternoon in the gunsmith's shop. I think the wood shop was closed for some reason.

But it is a long way from my house to Williamsburg. I think if I lived closer, I would go more often.

Even though it was expensive, I thought it was worth it. Lots of cool stuff to see.
...Naval Aviators, that had balz made of brass and the size of bowling balls, getting shot off the deck at night, in heavy seas, hoping that when they leave the deck that the ship is pointed towards the sky and not the water.

AD1 T. O. Cronkhite
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#40
  Re: Colonial Williamsburg in financial difficulty by iclark (It has been in the n...)
It doesn't really sound like a 'family' destination though, not much to interest kids. It sounds like a 'living history museum', not a theme park like 6 flags or Disney. Did they try to be what they aren't?
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