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Casper City Council considering possible seasonal closures for Fort Caspar Museum

Part of the outside that visitors can view on a trip to the Fort Caspar Museum in Casper, Wyo.
Part of the outside that visitors can view on a trip to the Fort Caspar Museum in Casper, Wyo.(KCWY)
Published: Apr. 15, 2021 at 6:26 PM CDT
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CASPER, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - At Tuesday’s Casper City Council session, Parks and Recreation Director Tim Cortez went before the council to present about the potential for seasonal closures at the Fort Caspar Museum.

“A lot of it’s just getting in front of council to try to educate them,” said Cortez in an interview on Thursday afternoon at Fort Caspar Museum. “So that they can make a decision for the people that’s in the best interest of the community, so that’s what we were discussing on Tuesday was some of the fine details if it were of what a facility of this nature brings to the community and the trade off of tax dollars.”

Many of the city’s parks and recreation facilities are seasonal, but the Fort Caspar Museum is open year-round.

Cortez said the museum is able to recoup around 19 cents for every dollar that is put into it, which is “pretty high” compared to most museums. “The museum isn’t really quite a business like you’d look at a lot of other things or even a lot of things in my department,” said Cortez.

“It is a quality of life type amenity, and that’s kind of how you have to view it through a different lens, and that’s why it’s important to get the information to people, council for instance, to make an appropriate decision on that trade-off because it is a trade-off.”

May to October are the busiest months for the museum before attendance begins to drop off. ““However, you have got to recognize that it’s not like nothings happens here,” said Cortez. “It’s just more of that behind the scenes work that occurs during those months.”

Cortez said the city council has tasked him with giving a similar breakdown for all of the parks and recreation facilities that he plans to present over the coming weeks.

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