The California Route 66 Museum in Victorville is in danger of closing its doors for good because of financial difficulties from the coronavirus pandemic.
Sue Bridges, the museum’s director, told the Daily Press newspaper in Victorville it has suffered because of the European travel ban and COVID-19.
“The future of our museum does not look good,” Bridges said. “After the state forced us to close in mid-March, our museum reopened on June 5. But then, after three weeks, we had to close again on July 3.” […]
In normal, pandemic-less spring and summer seasons, the museum takes in a monthly average of $13,000 to $15,000 from “thousands of tourists,” Bridges said.
But during its three weeks of operation before the second shutdown, the nonprofit establishment welcomed just a handful of visitors, yielding a paltry $1,200.
“It takes about $2,200 a month to pay the cost of our mortgage, utilities and insurance,” Bridges said. “We also pay about $2,300 a month for two cashiers, a gift shop manager and a director’s position.”
Bridges said the museum has only about $2,200 left. It also has spent $3,000 of a $35,000 of a Small Business Administration loan it has to pay back.
Homeless people who live in Victorville’s downtown area also have vandalized the museum several times, adding to the drain.
Don Holland, special assistant to San Bernardino County 1st District Supervisor Robert Lovingood, will speak to the museum’s board of directors today about a possible plan to save the museum. He didn’t elaborate on the plan to the newspaper.
The California Route 66 Museum opened in 1995 in what was the Red Rooster Cafe, a site for the 1980 Neil Diamond movie “The Jazz Singer.” It’s one of the oldest Route 66 museums.
(Image of the California Route 66 Museum in Victorville via Wikimedia Commons)