Texas State Aquarium Announces Significant Losses in Operating Revenue

May 7, 2020

CORPUS CHRISTI, TX – The Texas State Aquarium announced today significant losses in operating revenue due to the devastating impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

CORPUS CHRISTI, TX – The Texas State Aquarium announced today significant losses in operating revenue due to the devastating impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. “Since closing on March 18, at the very beginning of our busy season, we have lost nearly $3 million in operating revenue. To put this into perspective, we lost approximately $1 million in operating revenue in the months following hurricane Harvey. I expect our losses through year end could exceed $8 million,” said Aquarium President and CEO Tom Schmid. 

“Over 90% of our operating revenue is earned through our guest programming, and when guests are prevented from visiting the Aquarium, that revenue is eliminated. And while we continue to prepare for opening later this month with significantly reduced capacity, I suspect impacts will be felt for the next 12 to 24 months.” 

The Aquarium does have an Endowment and cash reserves, both intended to be used during an emergency. Those funds have helped the Aquarium manage through this crisis so far. However, with continued uncertainty regarding the duration of the pandemic, aquarium officials have taken more actions to reduce expenses. Shortly after closing, aquarium management implemented a number of cost saving measures, beginning with 50% reduction in the CEO’s salary, a 20-30% cut to senior staff salaries, and a reduction in our part time and seasonal staffing levels, “These cuts were necessary at the time, however, as we enter week eight of our closure, more is needed.” 

Effective May 5, the Texas State Aquarium has reduced full time staff by 17%, and has reduced salaries and hours for most of the remaining team members. “In my 20 years as CEO of this institution, this is, by far, the most difficult decision I have ever made. These team members, through no fault of their own, are being greatly impacted. We are committed to thoughtfully and compassionately supporting these team members. We will be providing a number of resources, including cash payments and extended health insurance coverage, to help them get through this extraordinary difficult period.” 

When the Aquarium does re-open guests will notice a number of changes. There will be one-way touring through all the exhibits, and regrettably, no presentations or 4-D Theatre experience.

“The very difficult decisions we made this week will allow us to remain financially stable and allow us to continue on our mission of enriching family entertainment, STEM education, wildlife rescue and conservation.” 

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