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Economic Development
Jul 6, 2018

Local Memberships Offer Reciprocal Admission Nationwide

Sponsored Content provided by Julie Wilsey - Director, Wilmington International Airport

New Hanover County has numerous amenities and attractions, which include our local museums and aquariums. 

Did you know that being a member of local attractions, such as the Cape Fear Museum and the NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher, may offer you reciprocal access to attractions in other cities throughout the country? 

New Hanover County’s Cape Fear Museum collects, preserves and interprets objects relating to the history, science and cultures of the Lower Cape Fear. The museum draws on a collection of more than 56,000 items to help visitors explore a wide range of topics and to tell balanced and inclusive local stories. If you have a family membership to the Cape Fear Museum, you’re entitled to receive free or reduced admission to hundreds of other museums across the country. 

This reciprocity includes nationwide admission to more than 300 participating museums and science/technology centers through the Association of Science Technology Centers’ (ASTC) travel passport program.  For example, if you are flying to Chicago and plan to take in the sights, you can receive free or reduced admission to partners, such as the Field Museum, the International Museum of Surgical Science, the Museum of Science and Industry, the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, and The Adler Planetarium. 

The reciprocity also includes nationwide admission to over 750 participating arts, cultural, historical and children’s museums, along with botanical gardens and science and technology centers through North American Reciprocal Museum Association (NARM). If you’re planning a trip to Chicago, for example, you can receive free or reduced admission to the Chicago History Museum, the DuSable Museum of African American History, Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art, Loyola University Museum of Art, the Smart Museum of Art, The Oriental Institute, and the Richard H. Driehaus Museum.

The North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher is another local popular attraction whose membership offers reciprocity. The NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher helps visitors discover aquatic wildlife through dive shows, special exhibits and animal encounters, including opportunities to touch sharks, stingrays and other animals. 

Members of the aquarium help support new exhibits, educational experiences and conservation programs. Members – whether individual, couple or family – also receive other benefits, such as reciprocity with 150+ other zoos and aquariums. For example, in Chicago you can receive free admission to the Lincoln Park Zoo and the Shedd Aquarium. 

So, next time you’re planning a trip, make sure you review the reciprocal benefits of your local memberships. Not only will you have the chance to explore new attractions (and possibly encounter the largest most complete T-Rex discovered!), you’ll also save on admission, helping stretch your travel budget a little further!

About ILM

Wilmington International Airport (ILM) is based in Wilmington, NC and serves over 830,000 travelers annually. ILM proudly offers convenient nonstop flights to top destinations and worldwide connections. The airport welcomed United airlines in April 2018 with new nonstop air service between Wilmington, NC and popular US cities, including Chicago O’Hare (ORD). Search flights on United.

Julie Wilsey has been the Airport Director of Wilmington International Airport (ILM) since December 2013. After six years as an Army Engineer officer, Julie joined the ILM team as the Director of Facilities.Since 1999, she has helped ILM grow with airfield and facility improvements, completing over $100 million worth of capital projects. A career milestone includes earning her accreditation as an airport executive with the American Association of Airport Executives in 2008. Julie holds an MBA from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University and a Bachelor’s Degree from the United States Military Academy at West Point. An active member of the community and aviation industry, Julie serves on the North Carolina Environmental Management Commission, the NC Aviation Task Force, Cape Fear Area United Way Board of Directors the Downtown Wilmington Rotary Club, WILMA, the North Carolina Airport Association and the Southeast AAAE. Julie is married to LTC (Ret) Donald Wilsey, USA, has a stepdaughter, Lauren, and two cats

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