Museum is back in black


Arrowtown’s Lakes District Museum is back from the financial brink and trading profitably again. 

Latest financials obtained by Mountain Scene show the museum and historic post office recorded a combined profit of $6798 for the July 2012 year. 

This contrasts with a thumping $68,000 loss in 2011. 

Museum chairman Taylor Reed is chipper: “We’re in a very good position.” 

Reed’s confident the museum will also turn a profit this financial year. 

“We’re building up a reserve to carry us through the slack time of the year but it’s still very busy,” Reed says. 

“We had a couple of days [in late February] when we put 350-plus people through – that’s an unusual occurrence [so late in] February.” 

As some comparison, Reed says adjacent Ramshaw Lane often has seven or eight coaches parked there. 

“This time last year you clapped your hands if you saw two coaches.” 

The museum may be a prized Arrowtown asset but it still has to be run like a business, Reed says, and like any business, the books must be balanced. 

“We’ve got to keep our income above our expenditure,” Reed says, “and that was the reason for making three staff redundant [last year].” 

Reed says the Chinese New Year was a boon – Asian visitors were attracted to Arrowtown’s Chinese Village and the museum got a spin-off, he says. 

Reed, 79, is in his 27th year on the museum board.