HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Space Camp needs your help!
That’s the message from officials who say the coronavirus pandemic put Alabama’s No. 1 tourist attraction in jeopardy.
The U.S. Space & Rocket Center needs more than $1 million in order to keep the doors open past October. In 2019, employees celebrated a big milestone - more than 1 million visitors to the Space and Rocket Center. This year, the number of visitors is significantly less.
There's more bad news.
The weeklong space camps starting this September are canceled because of coronavirus concerns. With the uncertainty of international travel and no field trips from schools, the lack of campers is also impacting employees.
Hundreds of employees have been furloughed. Additionally, nearly 700 part-time jobs are not available due to a lack of turnout at Space Camp and the Space & Rocket Center.
John Nerger, Chairman of the Alabama Space Science Exhibit Commission, did not beat around the bush when discussing the financial impact of the pandemic.
“I will be blunt. I will not mince any words. The coronavirus pandemic has created a dire situation at our Space & Rocket Center and we are now struggling for our very survival. Low attendance has meant a two-thirds reduction in revenue. A number that means we are not financially viable.”
For now, doors are still open for single-day visitors. Those hours are in jeopardy as well if enough money cannot be raised.
For more information on the ‘Save Space Camp’ campaign, please visit savespacecamp.com.