Buffalo Bill center to tighten its belt

Aug 22, 2011

Officials at the Buffalo Bill Historical Center say low attendance and stock market jitters are pushing the Center to reduce expenditures and possibly cut jobs.

Executive director Bruce Eldridge says weather in May and June brought historically low numbers of visitors to the center, and over the last few months, he believes aftershocks from the recession have stopped people from taking vacations.

"In addition, with the turmoil in the stock market, about 25 percent of our revenues come from endowment," Eldridge says. "And as the value of our portfolio drops, the amount of money we can take from that endowment drops as well. So we're getting hit twice, once from a downturn in visitor revenues, and once from a downturn in income that we can pull from our endowment."

Eldridge says the center is not in danger of having to shutter its doors, and that the museum has a strong balance sheet and finance statements. However, he adds that eating into financial reserves regularly isn't sound financial policy, and the center will have to adjust expenses to new trends in incoming income.