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Museum announces new winter hours, programs

Submitted by Kerynn Fisher
Phone: 907-474-6941

09/12/08

The University of Alaska Museum of the North is changing its winter hours this year. Effective Tuesday, Sept. 16, the museum will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, expanding the Saturday hours to include the morning. The museum will be closed on Sundays.

"Over the past few years, we've often found people waiting at the doors when we opened at noon on Saturday during the fall, winter and spring. At the same time, our Sunday visitation has slowly declined," says Amy Geiger, the museum's visitor services manager. "With the rise in gas prices, we expect people will continue to consolidate their trips into town, so the expanded Saturday hours will make the museum more accessible to Fairbanks families when they want to visit."

The museum will make exceptions to the Sunday closure to accommodate large tour groups, including the Japan Airlines charter flights scheduled to visit Fairbanks this winter. The museum will also likely offer Sunday hours during the holiday break and in March, when winter tourism brings large numbers of visitors to town.

The new hours will continue through May 14, 2008, when the museum switches back to its summer hours - 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. This summer was the first season the museum offered extended evening hours for visitors, which proved popular both with tour companies and with independent travelers. Overall, the museum saw an increase in visitation and visitor-related revenue this summer. Geiger attributes the increase both to the evening hours and to the return of Holland America, which included the museum as part of its package tour for the first time since the mid 1990s.

In addition to the new Saturday morning hours this fall, the museum is planning several programs and events to complement the current special exhibit, "Hunting and Trapping in Alaska's Interior: Our Stories, Our Lives." The exhibit is scheduled to run through the end of November. It opened in mid-May and has been very popular with summer visitors. Related events include lectures, a family program, a screening of the documentary film "Eating Alaska" and a family-friendly exhibit expo, with demonstrations and presentations by local experts.

Information on the museum's programs and exhibits is available at 907-474-7505 and online at www.uaf.edu/museum.

CONTACT: Kerynn Fisher, University of Alaska Museum of the North communications coordinator, at 907-474-6941 or 907-378-2559.