The cost of keeping Yorktown in business
The Post and Courier has an excellent article on what it costs to keep a large maritime museum with floating relics in operation.
Built around USS Yorktown (CV/CVA/CVS-10), one of 24 Essex-class fleet carriers built during World War II, Patriot’s Point has gone through a lot of ups and downs since it was established in 1976, near the bustling NAVSTA and Naval Shipyard in Charleston. At it’s peak in 1989, the museum included not only Yorktown but the WW II destroyer USS Laffey, Cold War era submarine USS Clamagore, nuclear-powered merchant ship NS Savannah and the Treasury-class cutter USCGC Ingham.
Since then, both Savannah and Ingham have been towed to Baltimore and Key West, respectively, Clamagore is set to be sink as a reef in a couple years, and both Laffey and Yorktown have received millions in repairs and need millions more.
The Navy pulled out of Charleston in 1993. Of the 450 acres of state land the park started with 40 years ago, there has been some leased to Charleston Harbor Marina and Beach Club, the College of Charleston, the Patriots Point Links gold club, more to the Medal of Honor Society for a museum, and now a portion along the river in a 99-year lease to a developer.
The hopes: generate $6 million a year to keep the park open, and raise $60 million to refurb Yorktown.