More than 34,000 discover museum in its first month; Port Discovery hopes to exceed year's target; Entertainment


Port Discovery, Baltimore's new $32 million interactive children's museum, has received more than 34,000 visitors since opening its doors Dec. 29, according to officials.

"Considering that school is back in session and we've had some bad weather days, we are thrilled with the numbers that we are seeing," said Kathy Dwyer Southern, president and chief executive officer. "If this trend continues, we will reach and maybe even exceed our initial target of 475,000 visitors during the first year."

During the first month of business, 3,351 memberships have been sold -- nearly meeting the goal that had been set for the first six months.

Port Discovery officials expect the museum will boost the state's economy by at least $14.5 million annually, based on a projection of 450,000 attendees. Those visitors also are expected to generate more than $26 million in new sales and receipts.

Designed by Walt Disney Imagineering, the museum features educational experiences and exhibits on three levels.

As an additional family oriented attraction, Port Discovery is expected to help solidify the city's status as a family destination and give leisure and convention travelers a reason to extend their stay.

The museum's location, in the old Fishmarket entertainment complex near the Inner Harbor, is considered to be a linchpin in broadening the area's attractions, drawing tourists to places they haven't traditionally visited.

Pub Date: 1/30/99

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