Since closing on March 16 due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Battleship New Jersey Museum has faced financial uncertainty. While the museum received federal Paycheck Protection Program funds in April, which allowed it to rehire some furloughed employees, the relief was not large enough. Citing declining revenue, the Battleship’s CEO Phil Rowan announced that the museum will once again close after Labor Day.
Since reopening in June, the Battleship New Jersey has had dramatically lower visitation than usual. This lower visitation, in addition to state rules banning the larger gatherings the ship depends on for funds, means that the ship is not bringing in enough revenue. “With just a fraction of our normal revenue coming in daily, we can no longer continue to operate indefinitely at this level,” Rowan said.
The ship will continue to offer public tours until Labor Day, September 7. The ship will then remained closed until the museum’s board deems it viable to reopen. The Battleship’s top executives will be laid off on the 7th, and only nine full- and part-time security and maintenance workers will continue to be employed after the closure.
Marshall Spevak, board of trustees chairman said in a statement, “by taking proactive action, the Board believes this temporary decision will result in a long-term benefit to the ship. Consequently, the Board has deemed it necessary to close until such time that we are able to resume more normal operations.”