May 7, 2020
Oklahoma Route 66 Museum to Maintain Winter Hours of Operation upon Reopening
CLINTON, Okla. — The Oklahoma Historical Society announced today that the Oklahoma Route 66 Museum in Clinton will not move to expanded operating hours this summer. To support the surge of summer travelers, the museum usually expands its hours of operation, opening seven days a week and including evening hours. When the museum reopens, which is projected to occur on June 1, the museum 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, motorcoach 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.
The Oklahoma Route 66 Museum has often been touted as a success story since its opening in 1995. Though it is a state facility, most of its operating funds are generated through earned income from admission fees and gift shop sales. This means the closing and an anticipated decline in visitors following reopening hits the museum just like any other small business that depends on tourism dollars. 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.
The Oklahoma Route 66 Museum is a division of the Oklahoma Historical Society. The mission of the Oklahoma Historical Society is to collect, preserve and share the history and culture of the state of Oklahoma and its people. Founded in 1893 by members of the Territorial Press Association, the OHS maintains museums, historic sites and affiliates across the state. Through its research archives, exhibits, educational programs and publications the OHS chronicles the rich history of Oklahoma. For more information about the OHS, please visit www.okhistory.org.