The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force has reached a milestone with its newly completed $40.8 million expansion. The historical additions will attract an overwhelming portion of the museum’s annual tourists. This investment will house the largest assortment of striking research and U.S. presidential aircraft.
The collection includes one-of-a-kind carriers, like the Boeing company 707, famous for carrying U.S. President John F. Kennedy’s body to his home after he was murdered in 1963. This is expected to become one of the main attractions of the new collection.
The Grand Opening Regional Working Group plans on investing $170,000 on a marketing campaign that includes newspaper and electronic advertising. The firm is looking to target demographics that do not typically frequent the historic sites. This will not only generate revenue from new visitors, but the investment group is hoping visitors will also explore the other exhibitions in the region. Thinking of ways to get the visitors to those sites has proved to be a challenge thus far.
Tourist attraction substantially contributes to the economy in the region, adding about $40 million in revenue every year. The museum reported a significant drop in visitors from 1,146,087 in 2014 to 859,780 in 2015. Despite this, the opening of the new hangar is believed to lead more tourist traffic to the area, especially with momentum gained through the release of David McCullough’s book, “The Wright Brothers” and Tom Hanks’ HBO miniseries based on the Dayton airplane inventors. Museum officials also think the drop in visitors reached their lowest point last year because people were waiting until the new expansion opened, which had been anticipated to open in 2014, not 2 years later.
Now that it has, the economic driver should get back to yielding large profits for the region. In 2013 alone, the Montgomery County tourism totaled $1.7 billion in spending, and $569.3 million for neighboring Greene County.
President and CEO of the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce made a statement relating to an improvement in the relationship between the museum and U.S. Air Force in the region because of the new expansion.