Answers in Genesis (AiG), has opened an online ticketing system to help manage the requests, to tour the life-size re-creation of Noah’s Ark known as Ark Encounter.
Workers at the Williamstown site, south of Cincinnati, are busy constructing the internal exhibit areas of the Ark now that the external shell is largely complete. As the largest timber frame structure in the world – 510 feet long according to the dimensions specified in the Bible – the Ark Encounter is getting a lot of attention not just across America, but around the world.
More than 1.4 million visitors are expected to see the Ark in its first year, according to Answers in Genesis, the organization behind the attraction.
With a nod to the number of days and nights it rained while Noah and his family were on the Ark, tickets will be sold for separate daytime or evening visits during the first 40 days of opening, starting July 7.
Ken Ham, president and founder of Answers in Genesis, is eagerly looking forward to the educational and evangelistic opportunity the Ark will be for so many thousands of guests expected to visit daily during the first forty days and nights.
“Today, we don’t need another Ark to save animals and people from a global Flood,” Ham said. “But we do need another kind of Ark, to take people on what we are calling a ‘voyage of discovery.'”
While the Ark Encounter can accommodate about 16,000 guests per day, research has shown that more could be expected during the first few weeks of opening, especially during the summer time frame. This was the reason for establishing daytime entry tickets and nighttime tickets for the first 40 days.
For the first 40 days, guests can purchase daytime tickets for 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. or nighttime tickets for 5 p.m. – midnight.
The day and evening times will also offer some differing experiences. Tickets are $40 for adults, $28 for children and $31 for seniors. Parking is $10.
Individuals who purchased a Charter Boarding Pass or donated to the Ark construction by sponsoring a plank or a beam had access to a priority ticketing period that occurred before the ticket offering was made to the general public.
So far Answer in Genesis reports more than $88 million of the $92 million needed for the project has been raised through bonds, donations, and memberships.
The decision is still pending on whether the Ark Encounter will be able to participate in the state’s sales tax rebate program for tourist attractions now being litigated.
Regardless the project is expected to be a boon to regional tourism, just as the Creation Museum, a sister attraction of the Ark, has proven to be in its eight years of operation.
The Creation Museum in Petersburg, 40 miles from the Ark site, has been visited by over 2.5 million guests since opening in 2007.
In the past two years, the museum unveiled a world-class $1.5 million exhibit of an allosaur dinosaur skeleton. It also hosted the famous Bill Nye/Ken Ham evolution-creation debate, conservatively estimated to have now been viewed by upwards of 15 million people.
It is anticipated that thousands of new jobs will be created outside of the Ark theme park, and new hotels and other businesses are under development near the Ark site. New tax revenue to the state will be in the millions.
Answers in Genesis