MOBILE, Alabama – One million fewer people enjoyed Alabama’s sugar white beaches in 2010. That’s a 21 percent drop from 2009. A tasty favorite among tourists from all over the world, Shrimp Fest had a 20 percent attendance drop. Hank Aaron Stadium attendance numbers fell 9 percent.
Fewer people took in the history of Battleship Memorial Park last year. Battleship Executive Director Bill Tunnell says overall attendance for the self funded agency fell 13 percent. “But, when you look at the summer time, we were down 37 percent and that’s our meat and potatoes time. That’s a little tough,” said Tunnell.
For Battleship Memorial Park alone, the losses add up to more than a half million dollars. “That took away about 17 percent of our total operating budget…and 17 percent is a lot of people. We would have employed probably seven more people last summer had the business been here. You know we didn’t lay anybody off. We just didn’t hire any additional people,” said Tunnell.
Tunnell says lost revenue is needed for a laundry list of maintenance including painting and deck repair of the U.S.S. Alabama.
See video here: http://www.wkrg.com/gulf_oil_spill/article/oil-spill-kept-tourists-away/1204684/Feb-10-2011_7-07-pm/