This is Derek Miller, Speaking on Business. Thanksgiving Point was prepared to spend 2020 celebrating its 25th anniversary as one of Utah’s largest cultural institutions. Coronavirus changed those plans and Thanksgiving Point has navigated a tight rope of decision-making to protect guests and team members during the pandemic. In fact, as many as 1 in 8 museums may disappear when the pandemic ends. Its president and CEO, Mike Washburn, is here to share some insights.
In March we closed Thanksgiving Point and canceled all events, including the Tulip Festival, which was a tremendously difficult decision. We reopened outdoor venues on May 1 to just one-third capacity for social distancing, following the “Utah Leads Together,” plan, then began opening museums and exhibits on June 12 to extremely limited capacity. While these measures reduced our annual budget from $25 to $14 million, our generous members and community stepped in to help ease this crisis and have been vital sources of support. Moving forward, we’re focused on transformative family learning at our venues while following safety guidelines. Soon, we look forward to more days of hosting crowds and over two million guests a year.
We’re glad that Thanksgiving Point has committed members and donors to help this vital community gathering place weather the storm during COVID-19. We’ll be looking forward to the lights at Luminaria this holiday season as well. For more details on experiences open and available to the public, visit thanksgivingpoint.org. I’m Derek Miller, and this is Speaking on Business.