June 4, 2023

Museum-goers who love nature, butterflies and large mammoth fossils could must fork over more money to achieve entry to 3 Los Angeles County museums which might be asking for a 20% hike in admission charges to assist them pay for working prices that rose attributable to inflation and better utilization.

The county’s Pure Historical past Museum (NHM), La Brea Tar Pits and George C. Web page Museum have floated a proposal earlier than the county Board of Supervisors to boost grownup normal admission costs from $15 per particular person to $18. They’re additionally asking for a bump in lowered charges for seniors, college students and youth, ages 13 to 17, from $12 to $14. Tickets for kids 3 to 12 are $7.

The payment hikes go earlier than the supervisors on Tuesday, Might 23 and would require three votes of the 5 supervisors for approval.

These museums, which characteristic well-liked reveals from the Butterfly Pavilion on the Pure Historical past Museum to fossils of saber-toothed cats and large sloths relationship to the Ice Age on the Tar Pits and Web page Museum, will  collectively increase about $1.1 million in income if the brand new ticket costs are authorised, in line with a letter contained in a county report written by Lori  Bettison-Varga, president and director of the museums.

The income can be used to offset rising prices related to academic applications and free admission for varsity discipline journeys, upkeep of amenities and will increase in worker wages and advantages, the letter acknowledged.

Offering free admission to all college youngsters, academics, veterans and energetic navy, has minimize into the county museums’ working finances. Earlier than the March 2020 begin of the COVID-19 pandemic, one-third of the Pure Historical past Museum’s 1.3 million guests bought in without spending a dime. In 2022, the Exposition Park museum noticed a bounce in class discipline journeys, and free admissions now account for about half, the letter mentioned.

A monarch butterfly within the butterfly pavilion on the LA County Pure Historical past Museum Wednesday, June 1, 2022. Research present there’s a main comeback of the monarch butterflies in western United States. (Picture by David Crane, Los Angeles Each day Information/SCNG)

Because the museums ramp as much as deal with extra guests, prices have risen, wrote Bettison-Varga. The Pure Historical past Museum anticipates finishing a welcome heart and a commons that can be out there to most people with out paid admission. These enhancements are additionally including to working prices.

A survey of different museums each within the county, in California and outdoors of California, Bettison-Varga wrote, confirmed that the proposed admission charges will not be out of line. The letter acknowledged that ticket costs have been final elevated in 2015.

“The proposed charges are effectively inside the vary charged by related establishments, and are among the many lowest within the county,” she wrote.

For comparability, the survey discovered:

• The Autry Museum of the American West at Griffith Park raised the value of grownup normal admission on Jan. 1, from $14 to $16, a 14% enhance.

• The Los Angeles County Museum of Artwork (LACMA) raised grownup normal admission from $15 in 2017 to the present value of $25, a 67% enhance. L.A. County grownup residents are charged $20.

• At The Getty in Brentwood and the Getty Villa in Pacific Palisades, admission is free.

• The Aquarium of the Pacific in Lengthy Seashore raised grownup normal admission in the previous couple of years. The survey mentioned admission in 2017 was $29.95. The museum web site signifies admission is $36.95. This represents a 24% enhance.

Griffith Park has no admission payment, however some areas cost for parking. Admission to the Griffith Park Observatory is free, however the observatory astronomy present requires a separate ticket.

Griffith Park was donated to the town of Los Angeles by Colonel Griffith J. Griffith who required as a part of the donation that the park would all the time be free to enter. Two makes an attempt by the Los Angeles Metropolis Council to cost admission charges in the end failed, defined Gerry Hans, president of Buddies of Griffith Park.

In 1981, pay cubicles have been put in on the park to gather $.50 on weekdays and $1.00 on weekends per automobile as a strategy to generate income for the town’s Recreation and Parks Division. That led to a lawsuit and protests. In 1984, the town eliminated the toll cubicles.

“Through the time of the payment cubicles’ operation, most of the park’s concessions and venues have been damage financially with much less individuals getting into, together with the LA Zoo, prepare rides, and pony rides. There have been protests about double taxation, and toll cubicles have been even vandalized,” Hans wrote in an emailed response.

In San Francisco, the town’s California Academy of Science in 2017 charged an grownup normal admission of $35.95. In 2023, the value of admission is $48.75, a 36% enhance, the survey discovered.

Chicago’s Subject Museum in 2017 charged $22.00 for normal admission. In 2023, admission is $30.00, a 36% enhance, the survey revealed.