Print
Hospitality

Attractions Get Phase 2.5 Boost

By Laura Moore, posted Sep 18, 2020
The Bellamy Mansion Museum reopened Sept. 11 after being closed for nearly six months because of the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Cece Nunn)
Local museums were finally able to reopen after nearly six months of closure as a result of COVID-19 restrictions. The news couldn’t come soon enough for many of them.
 
Two-thirds of the Bellamy Man­sion Museum’s revenue comes from people visiting the landmark, “so this is a huge deal to get people through the front doors,” Bellamy Mansion Executive Director Gareth Evans said.
“We’ve been doing our online programming, but getting back to what we do, giving people tours and teaching them about history, that’s what we do and why we’re here.”
 
The museum organized volun­teers to go over the reopening plan, emphasizing safety protocols. Those protocols include limiting the num­ber of visitors inside, masking, sani­tizing and keeping social distance.
 
“Businesses have been doing this for some time, so it’s good that we are getting to do it now too,” Evans said.
The Wilmington Railroad Muse­um was the “first museum in Wilm­ington proper to open, and it went wonderfully,” according to Executive Director Holli Saperstein.
 
Volunteers and its board of directors rallied to finish projects, clean and sanitize in preparation for the opening weekend. The museum reopened its doors on the Saturday of Labor Day weekend.
 
“It was such a pleasure. Every­body was so good about masks and all used the sanitizing stations. Everyone followed the protocol,” Saperstein said.
 
The first weekend welcomed 87 guests, following the state mandate of half capacity, which will contin­ue to affect the pandemic’s overall financial impact on the museum.
 
“We can only take 50% of our normal traffic and it will still be a while before we can break even,” Saperstein said. “There’s no making up for lost time. It is just devastating to lose 90% of our income.”
 
Saperstein explained how they are continuing to apply for grants and look for other ways to sustain the museum. She said she hopes that people will take advantage of the museum for homeschool lessons.
 
“I hope people are anxious to get out of the house and use this as a great opportunity to take kids out of the house and learn about transportation,” Saperstein said.
 
The N.C. Aquarium at Fort Fisher opened Sept. 14 with a few changes to protect the health and safety of visitors and staff.
 
“We can’t wait to do what we do best, which is to share the truly astounding animals and habitats we care for,” said Maylon White, director for the N.C. Aquariums Division, in a news release announcing the reopening.
 
To adhere to the new safety measures, the aquarium admission will be available online only at ncaquariums. com, and guests will reserve their tickets for specific arrival times.
 
“This will allow the aquariums to best provide a safe and enjoyable visit by reducing overall building capacity,” the release said. “Also in accordance with Executive Order 163, both guests and employees will need to wear face coverings and maintain social distancing.”
Ico insights

INSIGHTS

SPONSORS' CONTENT
Aaeaaqaaaaaaaaidaaaajdhiztrkodm0lte2yjetngrkmy1hotrmltawmdvlmwqyztmymw

Building A Health Care Innovation Certificate: It’s A Team Effort

Diane Durance - UNCW Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Capefearrealtors tomgale headshot

Promoting The Affordable American Dream

Tom Gale - Cape Fear REALTORS®
Tommytaylor ceo unitedway

Who Are We?

Tommy Taylor - United Way

Trending News

Builder's 10-year Plan Includes Up To 5,000 Homes In Southern Pender

Cece Nunn - Jan 19, 2021

Cameron Art Museum Welcomes New Board Members, Appoints Officers

Christina Haley O'Neal - Jan 19, 2021

Officials To Consider Revised Agreement For Government Center Redevelopment

Cece Nunn - Jan 18, 2021

NHC Commissioners To Consider $25K For Genesis Block's Accelerator

Christina Haley O'Neal - Jan 18, 2021

IronGate Partners' Alex McDonald Earns CFP

Christina Haley O'Neal - Jan 19, 2021

In The Current Issue

Local Advisers Share New Year Tips

With the market tumult of 2020 behind us, financial ad­visers are ready to help their clients navigate the possible challenges and opportuni...


Bike Shop Owner Rides To Success

Since she left the corporate world less than 10 years ago, Diane Hodapp has been on a roll....


2021 Goals: New Year's Outlook In Their Own Words

Several of the region’s economic development groups and organizations that are economic drivers check in with a recap of what happened in th...

Book On Business

The 2020 WilmingtonBiz: Book on Business is an annual publication showcasing the Wilmington region as a center of business.

Order Your Copy Today!


Galleries

Videos

2020 Health Care Heroes
2020 WilmingtonBiz 100