Evel knievel museum admission

Evel knievel museum admission DEFAULT

Evel Knievel Museum 

Named a TOP 5 U.S. museum! 

Visitors react with excitement to the Plan Your Jump interactive display at the Evel Knievel Museum in Topeka, KansasGet ready to explore the world's largest collection of Evel Knievel's authentic performance leathers, jump bikes and memorabilia at Historic Harley-Davidson of Topeka, 2047 SW Topeka Blvd.

In addition to a large number of artifacts, the Evel Knievel Thrill Show and Museum features experiential exhibits focused on the physics of jumps, the broken bones Evel sustained, how engines work -- and the favorite: a virtual reality jump.

Unlike any Evel display you've ever seen:

Each death-defying jump is featured in detail, along with artifacts in a curated experience.This fully-curated museum experience puts you in the moment of each of Evel Knievel's death-defying feats. Videos, interactives and informative signs get you as close to the action as possible. Get in his Mack truck; understand what bones he shattered and how his wild ride effected his life, fame and family.

Don't miss:

  • Several, original performance leathers and helmets - including the helmet Knievel wore on May 26, 1975, when he crashed while trying to land a jump over 13 buses at Wembley Stadium in London
  • Many of Knievel's jump motorcycles - including his first Harley Davidson: A 1970 XR750 Ironhead, which would become his preferred model, and the Laverda American Eagle
  • A larger-than-life bronze and copper statue; and
  • Parachutes, pinball games, fan letters, photographs, X-Rays and more never-before-seen memorabilia

Fun Evel Knievel fact: He holds the Guinness World Record for surviving the most broken bones in a lifetime at 433

The Rocket Evel used to launch over the Snake River Cannon is on display in Topeka, Kansas

What's the fuss?

In his 11-year motorcycle-jumping career in the 1960s and '70s, Knievel attempted more than 75 jumps, becoming just as famous for the stunts he landed as those he didn't. Knievel, born Robert Craig Knievel, died in 2007 at the age of 69 from pulmonary fibrosis.

Evel Knievel transformed popular culture across the world, becoming the first celebrity with action figures, he contributed to the "American swagger" image and his efforts lead to extreme sports we know and love today.

Why Topeka?

As a boy, Evel Knievel saw a Joie Chitwood trick show. Go to the Museum to find out more about The Topeka Connection.

Topeka's Historic Harley-Davidson is known for his efforts in restoration. That lead to connections and, as they say, the rest is history. The Evel Knievel Thrill Show and Museum, as well as an expanded Harley-Davidson showroom, is a 16,000 square-foot expansion at Topeka's own Historic Harley-Davidson.

Don't worry, Yesterday's Motorcycle Museum isn't going anywhere. Evel Knievel's Mack Truck and Trailors

Sours: https://visit.topekapartnership.com/things-to-do/attractions/evel-knievel-museum/

What’s being said about the Museum

RED BLOOD. WHITE SUIT. AND BLUE SKY.

For daredevils and dreamers of all ages, come rediscover the spectacle of the death-defying Evel Knievel show, now open and flying sky-high in Topeka, Kansas. Witness the incredible collection of the physics-defying bikes that launched the legend. See his iconic 1974 Mack Truck & Trailer "Big Red." Examine the star-spangled helmets (battered, and beaten and beautiful) that undoubtedly saved Evel’s uninsurable life more than once. Listen to the eye-widening, imagination-sparking, and the doesn’t-seem-possible stories that defined an American icon.

“Mind Blown! Epic! Legacy! Awesome display of EK's blood sweat and tears! It is all here! And much, much more!”

— CAMERON G

“It would be worth the $15 admission just to have this amazingly realistic virtual reality experience! But there's so much more.”

— SANDY B

“An overwhelming collection from one of the greatest entertainers. You must see it to believe it. A real value $$. There is SO much to see, feel and touch.”

— Nelson k

Visit Us

2047 SW Topeka Blvd
Topeka, KS 66612

Hours
Tuesday–Friday
10AM to 5PM
(Last tickets sold at 4PM)

Saturday
9AM to 5PM
(Last tickets sold at 4PM)

Closed Saturday July 3rd

Average visit time is 1.5 hours

Sours: https://www.evelknievelmuseum.com/
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Evel Knievel Museum owner vows to refund Topeka $117K. Here's how the site was funded and its yearly visitors.

A wax figure of Evel Knievel greets visitors Tuesday afternoon on the second floor of the Evel Knievel Museum, 2047 S.W. Topeka Blvd.

After news surfaced earlier this month that Topeka's Evel Knievel Museum may be leaving the capital city for Las Vegas, community members posed questions — in comments on The Topeka Capital-Journal's Facebook page and elsewhere — about the museum's sources of funding.

Some worried local taxpayers were footing the bill for the attraction. They wondered whether the museum received public dollars at the expense of other area sites.

And a couple of folks asked whether the city of Topeka would attempt to claw back any money it had given to the business in light of its impending departure.

During an informal meeting Thursday between the museum's owner, Mike Patterson, and Topeka City Council members Spencer Duncan and Mike Lesser, Patterson unofficially committed to pay back money the Evel Knievel Museum has received from the city over the past few years — if the museum's move becomes final.

More:Topeka's Evel Knievel Museum may be moving to Las Vegas. Here's what we know.

To date, the museum has accepted a little more than $117,000 from the city's Transient Guest Tax Committee, and Patterson said he would be paying that back out of his own pocket.

"If the museum leaves, I think it's appropriate," Patterson said. "I'm all Topeka. This is where my family has had a business for 72 years. I would find a way to pay that money back."

It isn't clear whether he would be required to do so under the agreement he signed with the city, as Duncan indicated earlier this week there appears to be an oversight in the contract's wording.

The Evel Knievel Museum is attached to Topeka's Harley-Davidson dealership.

A copy of the 12-year agreement obtained by the Capital-Journal shows there is a "Termination; Repayment of Allocated Funds" clause, but it doesn't appear to address the question of whether moving the museum elsewhere violates the agreement.

"One very poor aspect of these contracts, which were written before the current city manager got here or I was on council — and we even have new legal staff now so I can't blame anybody sitting in those seats at the moment — but it does not say in there that you must stay in Topeka for the duration of your contract," Duncan said. "That seems like a no-brainer."

He indicated a clause of that nature will be in any future development contracts the city writes.

"But it doesn't really help us with this issue," Duncan added. "So that's an oversight."

How is the Evel Knievel Museum funded?

Patterson said private business loans sought by the owner have been the attraction's primary source of financing.

In addition, the museum has received a little more than $117,000 so far from the city of Topeka's Transient Guest Tax Committee, of which Duncan is now the chair. And private donors in the Topeka area have contributed less than $100,000 to the cause, Patterson said.

He indicated the museum's funding sources have been part of the discussion surrounding its potential move to Las Vegas. That shift isn't yet final but is "imminent," according to a news release Aug. 10 from the museum's marketing director, and could play out over the next couple of years.

"I've said before that if we don't have a museum here, we don't think there should be funding coming," Patterson said. "It's very healthy to ask questions and look at how public money is being spent. I'm a big advocate of that."

The Mack truck used by Evel Knievel Enterprises is on display at the Evel Knievel Museum.

When it comes to funding the museum has received from the city, Topeka's Transient Guest Tax Committee has paid out less than half of the $300,000 it formally committed to the museum in 2016.

In the Evel Knievel Museum's 2015 application for such funds, it indicated the total cost to stand up the attraction would be about $3.5 million. In the application, the museum requested $500,000 in funding from the city's Transient Guest Tax Committee, but a review board for the committee ultimately recommended only $300,000 be given over the course of 12 years.

"I was under the impression as we were going through the process that we were going to get the $300,000 upfront," Patterson said. "We needed that money to complete the museum, specifically the 4-D virtual reality jump. ... When they told me it was going to come over 12 years, I questioned it, and they said, 'Well, should you go out of business, we won't continue to pay you.' I remember my comment back then was, 'Well, that makes perfect sense.'"

The museum was one of 14 entities to apply for funding that year from the guest tax committee. Four projects — the museum, downtown's Evergy Plaza, Constitution Hall and the Jayhawk Theatre — were approved for funding totaling just more than $4.7 million.

Each of those entities received less than they had requested in their applications, but they wound up luckier than the 10 applicants denied funding.

What is the transient guest tax?

The Transient Guest Tax Committee is in charge of allocating money the city collects from a transient guest tax — also commonly referred to as a "bed tax" — that is paid by people who book hotel rooms in the area.

"A common misconception," said Sean Dixon, president of Visit Topeka, "is that a transient guest tax is a local tax, that Topekans pay it. We don't. It's entirely based on performance of the hotels. If Visit Topeka's doing our job in marketing the destination, more people will come stay in hotels and generate more transient guest tax dollars."

Patrons enjoy looking at the various exhibits Tuesday within the Evel Knievel Museum.

Since the Evel Knievel Museum brings people to Topeka from out of town, out of state and even out of the country, it contributes to the pool of guest tax funding available.

Dixon said the city has had a guest tax of some sort since the early 1990s. The current rate is 7% for most hotels in the area, and that tax is assessed on top of other applicable fees, such as the local sales tax.

"Traditionally, these (guest) taxes are in place to, at the very base, fund tourism marketing for the city," he said.

Visit Topeka gets a portion of guest-tax revenue to pay for its marketing initiatives.

"It kind of grew into capital projects, like you see now, funding tourism development," Dixon added.

More:'Inclusive Topeka' urges businesses to support historically marginalized groups

When Councilman Duncan was asked if he believed the Evel Knievel Museum was funded by the guest tax, to the detriment of other local sites, he said, "No."

It's important to note Duncan wasn't on the city council or the Transient Guest Tax Committee when such decisions were made.

"I certainly believe that the effort to put this museum in place was sincere," Duncan said. "They built a building. They did exactly what they said they were going to do in terms of filling it with Evel Knievel items. And they've had people in and out of it who have had a lot of great things to say about it. In the last four years, there has been a positive economic impact in Topeka."

Still, he added, the museum accepting money and knowing it was a 12-year commitment "does raise some red flags."

But after Thursday's meeting with Patterson, Duncan said, it seems clear the museum owner "has no desire to burn Topeka."

"He has some financial obligations that are very real because he made an investment in that building, in that museum," Duncan said. "There's bills that have to be paid. There are bank loans that have to be paid, and that's 100% understandable. So it's about finding a balance and working with him on making sure that doesn't get put in jeopardy, while also protecting the taxpayer dollars."

Topeka's Evel Knievel Museum may be leaving for Las Vegas, though details of the deal still have to be worked out.

Patterson said talk of eventually moving the museum wasn't part of the equation when it was being stood up.

"We didn't even anticipate that we would ever have an Evel Knievel Museum," he said. "We took advantage of an opportunity with the Evel Knievel brand when they came to us. ... The idea of it potentially moving, as we were building it, that wasn't crossing our minds. We were thinking long term."

Duncan indicated the city and the museum are in somewhat of a holding pattern until details surrounding a move to Las Vegas become final, and he said there are no immediate quarterly payments to be made from the Transient Guest Tax Committee to the museum in the meantime.

"If we're paying it back, there wouldn't be a reason to take any more," Patterson said.

Has the museum met performance expectations?

According to performance numbers provided by Visit Topeka, the Evel Knievel Museum fell short of some of the attendance and economic-impact projections disclosed in the attraction's operating plan, which accompanied its contract agreement with the city.

Before the museum held its grand opened in July 2017, its leadership anticipated welcoming 100,000 visitors to the site during its first year in business. In reality, the museum saw 13,163 visitors during the latter half of 2017.

The next year, it welcomed 23,141 visitors, and in 2019, it saw 25,171 people buy tickets. 

More:From motorcycles and airplanes to murals and parks, here are 8 must-see sites in Topeka

With the COVID-19 pandemic dominating much of 2020 and 2021, visitor numbers have been lower recently. The Evel Knievel Museum isn't alone in that, as attractions across the country chose to temporarily shut their doors last year.

"We came very close to closing the museum," Patterson said. "We were devastated with COVID. It's taken a lot just to keep us here so we could be talking today."

Even before the pandemic, though, museum attendance wasn't hitting its projected break-even number of 40,250 annual visitors.

"Once it was here, I think (the Knievel family) saw that there could be bigger things from it for them and their family if it was in a tourist destination," Patterson said. "Obviously, if we were doing numbers that would be the same as what a city like Las Vegas could do for an attraction, (the museum) probably wouldn't be moving."

But, he added, it's cool the Knievel family considered placing the museum in Topeka at all.

"This is the Knievel family's museum, and this is the only one they have," Patterson said. "We had to really, really talk to them a lot to get them to put the museum in Topeka in the first place."

Apparel from the Evel Knievel Museum are available for sale inside the Topeka Harley-Davidson.

One projection the museum met, according to Visit Topeka, was its goal of creating a minimum of $3 million in local tourism revenue during its first couple of years in business. The museum also met its objective of welcoming visitors from all 50 states during its first two years open.

In fact, the museum saw people from all 50 states within its first three months of opening, according to Visit Topeka's data. Now, it sees people from all 50 states come through about every three weeks.

Patterson said they have also welcomed folks from 68 different countries since opening, and he said such numbers are a testament to the museum's ability to draw people to the capital of Kansas.

Dixon, with Visit Topeka, echoed that sentiment.

"It's hard to quantify the impact this museum has had on Topeka's reputation as a destination," Dixon said. "The national media attention alone has created hundreds of thousands of dollars in PR ad value. ... All things considered, Topeka has certainly seen a good return on investment for its contribution to this attraction so far."

Patterson said he hopes Topeka continues to invest in projects that bring people to the area, and he looks forward to working on a replacement attraction for the space if the Evel Knievel Museum does say "adieu."

"We're very proud of not only what we've brought to this city financially but all of the intrinsic value that our team brings, and works really hard on, on a daily basis," Patterson said. "If you read (the online) reviews, you can see how hard we do work to represent Topeka. ... That effort is there, and it's always going to be a positive.

"We're proud of what we've accomplished."

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Sours: https://www.cjonline.com/story/business/2021/08/20/evel-knievel-museum-moving-owner-pay-back-topeka-tax-funding-las-vegas/8162958002/
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