The Bishop Museum announced yesterday that they are going to close the Hawaii Maritime Center on May 1st. Ouch, that hurts. That’s really unfortunate since the small museum was well worth a visit for anyone interested in maritime history. It had a nice collection of exhibits and a free self-guided audio tour.
I first visited the museum in 2001 when you could still tour the 1878 fully rigged iron ship, The Falls of Clyde. The ship fell into disrepair and remains docked next to the Maritime Center awaiting towing to a dry dock facility where it will hopefully one day be restored by the Friends of the Falls of Clyde organization.
The Bishop Museum cites the economy (what a surprise) as the main reason for the closure. The museum has been hit with the double whammy of state funding cuts and steep declines in investment income due to the stock market crash. The daily attendance of 40-50 didn’t help either. It is definitely a loss for us all.
The main site of the Bishop Museum will also be closed on Tuesdays beginning in May. The Hawaiian Hall renovation project has not been affected and is still scheduled to be reopened in August (just don’t show up on a Tuesday…).
Not totally unrelated, I read a story today in the Honolulu Advertiser that says more than 130 businesses and organizations have cancelled plans so far this year for conventions/meetings in Hawaii. It’s only April and 130 groups have cancelled their travel plans?
The Hawaii boondoggle effect is in full-force this year with the slumping economy and consumer backlash against corporate waste. I guess it would be hard to justify holding a convention in Hawaii in this economy. Bad news for the Aloha state.