- Associated Press - Saturday, June 13, 2015

KEARNEY, Neb. (AP) - Managers of The Archway monument that spans Interstate 80 at Kearney are optimistic that this year’s boost in attendance and revenue will continue throughout the year.

Through May, the monument has seen a 30 percent increase in attendance and a 43 percent jump in revenue over the first five months of 2014, the Kearney Hub reported (https://bit.ly/1G1LlWC ).

Officials acknowledge that the boost is due, in part, to the closure of the monument in January and February of 2014.

But officials say the attraction’s historically busiest months are June, July and August, giving them hope that the numbers will continue to grow.

The Archway features exhibits commemorating the Oregon, Mormon and California pioneer trails and the nation’s highway systems and railroads. It has struggled since opening in 2001 and was forced into bankruptcy in 2013 following years of disappointing attendance.

But since emerging from bankruptcy in September 2013 and reopening in March 2014, the city of Kearney has taken over management of the monument, and its prospects have improved. The city has reduced expenditures by more than $100,000, and the monument has received thousands in grants and private funding.

Per capita revenue was also up last year, Kearney City Manager Mike Morgan said. In 2013, the average spent by each visitor to the monument was $10.39. In 2014, it increased to $13.08. Through May of this year, it’s at $13.07.

Projected revenue for 2015 is just over $1 million based on an expected attendance of 52,000 visitors. Last year, The Archway recorded 50,457 visitors and brought in $659,935 in revenue.


Information from: Kearney Hub, https://www.kearneyhub.com/

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