Thursday, December 1, 2011
NASCAR Hall of Shame What Now?
WFAE aired this report earlier this week:
The NASCAR Hall of Fame was open on Thanksgiving Day this year. But it didn't lure the crowds that some had hoped it would.
The publicly-funded museum has had low attendance and shortfalls since it opened in the spring of 2010. When Hall of Fame officials came before city council a few days before Thanksgiving last year, council member Andy Dulin had a suggestion: stay open on Thanksgiving to lure in the parade crowds.
"It would make sense to me to funnel those folks into that Hall of Fame on Thursday and make that part of the tradition of Thanksgiving in Charlotte," said Dulin. "Let that parade march right through the front doors!"
Neither the parade nor the crowds did that. The Hall of Fame won't release the attendance numbers until January, but it certainly doesn't sound like it was busy.
The rest of WFAE's report is here.
Cedar's Take: I think Dulin had things right, open the thing up anytime there is a chance that someone might be willing to pay a few bucks to tour the place.
The NASCAR Hall is a great idea, and it is a heck of a building.
So now what?
First I think the City of Charlotte needs to accept that they bought a "pig in a poke" and City Council needs to ask NASCAR to step up to the plate, as does everyone else with deep pockets including Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Duke Energy and Burton Smith.
It's one thing to have a money losing business it is a whole new can of worms when the place doesn't have enough cash to keep the place looking sharp. And that issue needs to be addressed pronto.
Corporate and Charity Events are good money, but the Hall of Fame doesn't charge enough and they don't promote the idea very well. Also the lack of a weather protected entrance is a major turn off for upscale events.
Bottom line, it is time to regroup and find a way to make the NASCAR Hall of Fame work or find a way to turn the building into the South's largest aquarium.