Battleship North Carolina sees strongest summer in years

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — This past summer has been the most successful one in years for business, according to the Battleship North Carolina.

Visitor numbers, revenue and store sales were up after COVID-19 restrictions implemented in 2020.

On Sunday, May 31, more than 2,700 visitors came aboard the Battleship — the second highest admission numbers for a single day in Capt. Terry Bragg’s 12-year tenure as Executive Director for the Battleship.

“The Battleship has long been a driver of the Wilmington area’s tourism economy and we’re happy to see so many people returning to the Battleship,” Capt. Bragg, US Navy (ret.), said.

The only day in more than a decade with more visitors was the 75th anniversary of the Ship’s commissioning, when admission was reduced to 25 cents and more than 5,000 came aboard.

A news release states the Battleship more than doubled its visitors in Fiscal Year 2021 over the same period in FY2020, with about 191,000 visitors through August 2021 versus 95,000 through August 2020. Each month June through August in 2021 also exceeded visitor numbers for the same month in 2019. Paying visitors in July 2021 exceeded any previous July in the past 10 years.

Sales in the Battleship gift shop also rose in 2021, setting a new record and expected to exceed $1 million for the first time ever in September to close out the fiscal operating year 2021.

“This summer has been a strong win for the Battleship, showing that changing safety guidelines, staffing and supply chain issues are complications that can be overcome,” Capt. Bragg said.

The Battleship’s full public tour route is open for self-guided tours, with masks required for all indoor areas of the ship and visitors center in accordance with local and state guidelines and regulations.

October 2 marks the 60th anniversary of the Battleship’s arrival in Wilmington.

Categories: Community, Local, New Hanover, Top Stories

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