SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Although the Wonders of Wildlife Museum will attract about one-third fewer visitors than anticipated this year, officials say the museum is not in financial trouble.
When planning for the museum's opening in November, the museum anticipated attracting 900,000 visitors to its outdoor-themed exhibits.
With the first year nearly over, a more realistic projection is 560,000 visitors, said Fred Marty, museum executive director. The museum has adjusted its budget to reflect lower attendance revenues, but the museum should still make a profit this year, he said.
About 338,000 visitors have gone through the museum so far this year, Marty said, acknowledging the museum will be challenged to reach 560,000.
Despite missing its early projections, the museum's first year has still been strong, said Tracy Kimberlin, executive director of the Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau.
"Wonders of Wildlife is a new attraction, and it will take a while for those attendance numbers to build," Kimberlin said. "If, three or four or five years down the road, these numbers hold and there's not much of an increase, then it might be a concern."