Wichitans might be surprised to learn the cost of cultural attractions.
The price of adult admission to the Wichita Art Museum is $7.00, or free on Saturdays thanks to the generosity of Colby Sandlian, a Wichita businessman.
But the cost of admission is much higher. For 2015, Wichita city documents report a cost per visitor of $55.37. This was eight percent over the target cost of $51.24.
The cost per visitor figures the city reports each year are presented in a nearby table. For each year the city reports the cost per visitor along with a target for the next years. In the nearby chart, the target values are represented by dotted lines of the same color as the actual cost.
We should note that for these attractions much of their costs are fixed, meaning they do not vary with the number of visitors. An example is the employment cost of a museum director. As the number of visitors rises or falls, the salary stays the same. This means that if attendance increased, the cost per visitor would fall, and fall dramatically. (Of course, if attendance really boomed, the museum might need more directors. But that’s a long term decision.)
The source of this data is Wichita city budgets and performance reports. All are available on the city’s website at wichita.gov.