Guess how many people walked through the doors of the Trail Riverfront Centre in six hours on Saturday?
The answer is 950.
Granted it was Silver City Days and Sarah Benson-Lord counted 614 of those guests specific to the amenities, or washrooms, of the Visitor Information Centre (VIC) – that’s still a lot of people to usher through between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Further, since opening April 2, Benson-Lord says 8,526 people have walked through the front doors. Of those visitors, 471 came in for the VIC and 2,000+ were specific to the museum. That meant roughly 6,000 headed to the library and its amenities.
“The galleries have been extremely well received and we’ve been inundated with tremendous support,” Benson-Lord said during her report to council on Monday.
The museum’s people-tracking counter is located upstairs in the history gallery, not at the building’s entrance.
“We already came to expect people coming through the front door would naturally walk through the sports gallery (main floor),” she explained. “So I don’t necessarily consider that a motivated museum-goer.”
She laughed, “But that number of people, 2059 by the end of April, would have taken probably 10 years in the other location.”
The museum is free to the public, however there are on-site donation boxes for anyone who may wish to contribute post-tour.
Coun. Lisa Pasin asked if the boxes are being used.
“They are, yes,” Benson-Lord said. “We probably average about $30 to $40 a week, but we will see once the summer hits and maybe we get more people in who are surprised by the experience they had.”
With such high traffic, two summer students were brought in earlier than anticipated to help with staffing.
Benson-Lord mentioned the city was fortunate to receive a federal summer job grant as well as financial help from Columbia Basin Trust (Trust).
“We were surprised with a three-year contract from the Trust through their summer student employment program,” she noted. “That was substantially larger than the federal government’s … so we are happy to have both.”
She says both students are well settled in their jobs which includes training for visitor services, research projects and program development.
“And there’s lot of cleaning after the weekend,” she joked.