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1/25/2018 7:38:29 AM
Posted: 7/9/2001 7:48:55 AM EST
http://www.desertdispatch.com/cgi-bin/newspro/viewnews.cgi?newsid994610844,71569, [Serving the communities of Barstow, Daggett, Fort Irwin, Hinkley, Lenwood, Newberry Springs, Yermo] Roy Rogers Museum: Next stop, Missouri? © tourism : Tax burden, decline in visitors makes ‘Dusty’ Rogers Jr. set sights on more ‘ideal’ city. By WILLIAM FINN BENNETT/Staff Writer VICTORVILLE — Besieged by the Internal Revenue Service, hefty property taxes, and an ever-declining number of visitors to the Roy Rogers-Dale Evans Museum, Roy “Dusty” Rogers Jr. and his family again are considering pulling up stakes and riding off into the sunset. “We have to survive,” Rogers Jr. said. “If the museum doesn’t survive here, it will somewhere else.” The museum has received offers to relocate to Utah, Las Vegas, Idaho and Branson, Mo., he said. Branson — the Midwestern country music Mecca — is probably the most serious candidate right now, he said. It has the tourists, the demographics and the bedrock Midwestern values of people much like Roy and Dale. “They still believe in God and country, and the median age of visitors is 55 and up,” Rogers Jr. said. “Branson is ideal — more than 7 million people visit there every year — and it is a destination,” he said. Victorville, however, is not a destination point for tourists, and that is what the museum needs. “Nobody stops here in Victorville, except to go to the bathroom,” Rogers Jr. said. “We need someplace where people go to visit.” When Roy Rogers died, visitors to the museum began to dwindle, Rogers Jr. said. Then with the death of Dale Evans, attendance slid even further. “When people thought they had a chance to meet Mom and Dad at the museum, visitors were greater,” he said. “If we had to rely only on admission fees, we just couldn’t make it.” Added to falling attendance at the museum are IRS woes and a hefty property tax on the museum. With the death of his parents, Rogers Jr. said, the IRS swooped in to levy a 58 percent tax on the estate. That bill is the main reason why the Rogers family finished auctioning off a large portion of Roy and Dale’s personal
Link Posted: 7/9/2001 7:50:03 AM EST
possessions Friday. He recognizes this is not a problem unique to his family. “There are a lot of folks out there who are going to have to face giving away one-half of their estate to the government,” Rogers Jr. said. “You have to sell off half of everything you own, just to pay the government.“ The nearly $150,000 in property taxes the museum pays here also weigh heavily, he said. If the family decides to go to Branson, Rogers Jr. said they will also build a performance theater where he and his band and others can entertain visitors. They plan to build a movie theater to show Roy and Dale’s many movies. The Rogers already have one tie to Branson, he said. The latest incarnation of Roy Rogers former band, the Sons of the Pioneers, has had a successful career there for the last 20 years. “We would be working with them a lot,” Rogers said of the cowboy singing group. Average annual museum attendance in Victorville runs around 50,000, he said. That number would increase to 188,000 the first year in Branson. Rogers Jr. bases his projections on a careful study the museum has made of Branson’s market potential, including the number of people that visit the town each year. “We’ve done our homework,” Rogers Jr. said. Copyright © 2000 Desert Dispatch. All rights reserved. Material from this site may not be republished without the expressed, written permission of the Desert Dispatch.
Link Posted: 7/9/2001 8:25:38 AM EST
That's sad news. I was stationed in Victorville back in 1990 at George AFB before it closed. My parents came to visit one time an stopped by the museum. When they came back, all they could talk about is how they met and got their picture taken with Roy Rogers. I hope everything works out for the museum because I've never heard a bad word about the Rogers and their family.
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