CLINTON, Okla. (KFOR) – The Oklahoma Route 66 Museum will not move to expanded operating hours this summer due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
To support the surge of summer travelers, the museum usually expands its hours of operation, opening seven days a week and including evening hours.
The museum is expected to open on June 1 and will maintain its winter hours of Tuesday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., in response to the circumstances surrounding COVID-19.
“Once the museum reopens, we anticipate a large drop in visitation with the loss of international travelers, motor coach tours and out-of-state visitors—three groups that typically form a significant portion of our summer visitors,” said Pat Smith, director of the Oklahoma Route 66 Museum.
Though the museum is a state facility, most of its operating funds are generated through earned income from admission fees and gift shop sales. In a normal year, the expanded summer hours would mean adding staff, but with the decline in visitors and revenue, the funding for those seasonal positions will not exist.
“Though staff are at work, the museum is closed to the public through the month of May,” said Smith. “We are working on new operating procedures and cleaning guidelines to help keep our staff, volunteers and visitors safe. If your out-of-state or international travel plans have been interrupted, we hope you will consider traveling closer to home and visiting some of the many wonderful museums and historic sites Oklahoma has to offer,” continued Smith.