To expand traffic beyond historical/cultural field-trips, multi-type attractions should be implemented that target other types of traffic, some examples of these are as follows.
ATTRACTION – Aquarium:
The design proposed for the CA&DC includes two aquarium tanks each measuring approximately 60’ long x 8’ deep x 8’ high. The aquatic life should represent what was, and is, found in the Chesapeake Bay; fish, oysters, crabs, toads, blowfish, eels, skate and other lesser known species should be included as well. Striped bass (rock), and drum fish can grow to more than 4’ in length which will provide impressive visuals.
ATTRACTION – Observation Deck:
The design – a draft of which is provided in a later section – has a 3rd floor that will be used for reenactments, various other exhibits and other activities exclusive to the CA&DC.
Since Crisfield is already pushing a ‘sunset narrative,’ it’s only wise to generate revenue from sunsets. The proposed elevation of the Observation Deck will be high enough that Janes Island will not impede the view of the Tangier Sound, and will allow more of Janes Island (the chimney, beach, wetlands, etc.), to be observed as well. Considering this, coin-operated binoculars will be very popular, especially since visitors will (or should), be able to purchase a ‘sightseeing map’ for a few dollars that will give the locations to find wildlife, eagle’s nests, etc.
The Observation Deck can also be a paid spectator area for events like Boat-Docking Contests and other maritime competitions.
ATTRACTION – Concert & Event Stage w/ Dual Use (Outdoor & Indoor):
Many of Crisfield’s events are held at the Marina, which produces minimal revenue for the municipality, or private businesses, since most visitors leave immediately or soon after the event. If events are held where the CA&DC is being proposed here, practically every visitor will pass by the vast majority of businesses both coming and going. Concerts/events will not only generate revenue for the CTI, it will produce evening traffic that will benefit local businesses.
Preliminary calculations show that the audience area for outdoor events at the CA&DC will accommodate approximately 1000 people.
Many similar venues are partially funded by private corporations with the proviso that it’s named after them. For example, if PNC was acquired as a primary funding source for the stage, the name may be ‘The PNC Bank Stage at Chesapeake Adventure & Discovery Center.’
A successful example of this type of facility is the Freeman Stage in Selbyville, DE. There are a substantial amount of entertainers who were extremely popular in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s, etc., that are performing at smaller venues like the Freeman Stage, and the Stage at CA&DC would be able to accommodate, and afford, some of these entertainers as well.
There are numerous other potential uses for the Stage; the design also allows for open-air movies to be shown, which was actually done a few years ago in Crisfield and appeared to be quite successful.
Another area that I’ve recognized needing attention is the complete absence of traffic during the winter. The CA&DC will operate year-round daily, but this will be of little benefit in producing traffic in the evenings during the winter, which is much needed for businesses to stay open. For this reason, the concert/event stage should be utilized during the winter months as well.
The proposed design of the sound and lighting equipment has it mounted on a truss system that can be moved to front or back of the stage, and be able to rotate to face inward or out, so it can serve both indoor and outdoor events. There are two overhead roll-down doors; one on the exterior of the stage, one on the interior. During outdoor events the exterior door would be rolled up and the interior door would be closed serving as the back of the stage. For indoor events the exterior overhead door would be closed, interior door opened and seating would be in the Indoor Event Area which should hold approximately 200 people.
Weekend movies and concerts with lesser-known entertainers can be offered as well as Christmas concerts, movies and other similar events.