Nov 30, 2011 at 11:56 am
ST. PAUL, Minn. (KNSI) - It's going to cost you and your family a little bit more to take in some of Minnesota's rich history.
Beginning Thursday, admission to attractions run by the Minnesota Historical Society went up by $1 in all age groups for all 26 of the society's sites statewide, according to society officials.
The fee increases, which were initially announced in August, will help to offset nearly $1.6 million in cuts by the state legislature to the society's $20.4 million operating budget, society sites and museum director John Crippen said.
"We've reduced open hours to the public by about 30% (in recent years)," Crippen said. "We were trying to stem that tide a little bit, so we thought a modest increase for the public that was using the sites most would be appropriate."
Crippen said no one is happy about the increases, but they're cautiously optimistic about avoiding a fee backlash following reaction to the last time the MHS raised admission fees in 2008.
"At that time, we increased fees by $2 and we were pleasantly surprised that we got little to no negative feedback," Crippen said.
In addition to the higher admission prices, Crippen said the society is looking at ways to maximize the profitability of their sites, including hosting parties, weddings and other public gatherings.
"Are there things we can do that provide access to sites without relying just on a tour program? I think that's where we're going to have to be going in the next few years," Crippen said.
Regional sites maintained by the MHS include the Charles Lindburgh house south of Little Falls, the Mille Lacs Indian Museum near Onamia and the Minnesota History Center, Hill House and Historic Fort Snelling among other sites in the Twin Cities metro area.