SouthsideCentral was the first to confirm that the AAF Tank Museum was leaving (yes, that’s a shameless plug!), but it doesn’t look like the owners were happy with the Southside region.
First, let’s go to the quote that pisses me off…
“It needs recognition and respect. It will get it here.”
(Editor’s Note: I filled in the missing part of the sentence.)
Jeez. I’m sorry that I (and others in the Southside region) didn’t give you the recognition and respect that you needed. The last time I checked, respect is earned and not given. To continue that point, let’s bring on a Big Board.
- When I was working at WMDV-TV (right across the road from the museum), I offered the owners a free one-hour show to promote one of the few events that they held over there. I was never able to talk directly to the owners of the museum but was stuck with working for their (at the time) public relations person. After going back and forth for a week, she told me that the Tank Museum wasn’t interested in it. That told me enough right there.
- I went through the museum one day in August as I was filming their radio controlled tank battles for a short feature for a TV talk show. There was no charge for the filming as I wanted to show the TV station as good neighbors. There’s no climate control in most of the building and the tanks are in the giant warehouse part. It was already around 90° outside and it was easily 100°+ inside. It became quite unbearable after about 30 minutes. There were very few regular visitors in the museum at that time and I can understand why.
- The weapons collections that were in the old office part of the building were slightly more bearable as they had placed portable air conditioners around, but it was still extremely warm. I’m sure that the cold of winter would have been just as bad for museum visitors, but they soon started closing in the winter.
- I never saw any advertisements for the tank museum except rare ones for their special events. I would guess that over 90% of the region’s residents never went through the museum.
- Do you remember the events that they held to remember and celebrate Memorial Day & Veterans Day every year? Me neither, because there weren’t any. Again, missed opportunities.
- The admission price of $12 wasn’t horrible, but a price of $6 would have attracted more locals. Twice as many visitors mean twice as many people going through your gift shop at the end of your tour. There could have been special days of half-priced admissions, or 20% off gift shop purchases.
There were multiple opportunities to promote the giant collection that they had, but they did none of that. That public relations guy’s statement chafes me even more after thinking about what the owners could have done with the local area to make the museum a success. Let’s see how good that they do in Ohio with their newly found support.