CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE
Due to growing public concern and to minimize the risk of exposure to the COVID-19 virus to our visitors, volunteers and employees, the Board of Directors of the Valiant Air Command, Inc. voted to close the museum to the public beginning Sunday 3/15/2020 at the close of business. The Board of Directors will review the further developments and risks of the virus each month to determine when it will be suitable to reopen the museum to the public.
Please continue to visit our website or our FaceBook Page at https://www.facebook.com/VACwarbirdairshow for further information and updates on our museum hours and availability.
Valiant Air Command, Inc.
Dear Members, Volunteers and Friends:
Re: Current status of your museum
For protection of our tour guides, employees, volunteers and visitors we closed the museum on March 15, 2020. Many families and businesses are facing a “cash flow” issue in one form or another requiring dipping into savings, letting employees go, cutting spending on everything except essentials in order to ride out the impact the virus has caused.
We have applied to the government’s Paycheck Protection Program to help cover expenses. At this moment the Program has run out of funds, hopefully it will be refunded. This is a loan with a formula for some forgiveness. The balance would constitute a loan maturing in 2 years with an interest rate of 1%.
The museum is faced with recurring monthly expenses: burglar alarm and fire reporting systems, Florida Power and Light, pest control, lease costs, mortgage payments, insurances, services from the City of Titusville, contractual advertising and telecommunication fees; these and other miscellaneous costs add up to $26,000 +/-.
Due to COVID-19, all revenue events have been cancelled by various sponsors at least until November as it stands now. These include revenue producing flights for our C-47 TICO Belle and appearances for our TBM Avenger around Florida, South Carolina and Georgia. Additionally, over 16 known revenue events from proms, weddings, anniversaries and corporate parties have been cancelled. Then you can add to the above, the lost revenue from visitors, tour groups and merchandise sales.
We have received generous donations from members and friends for the expansion plans. These funds are pledged solely for expansion as they are tied to a matching grant from the Florida Department of Transportation.
Several months ago, we sent one of our C-47 engines out to Anderson Aeromotive in Utah to be rebuilt. The engine has been rebuilt, certified and was delivered to the museum last week and we expect the final bill to be about $60,000.
It is impossible to calculate the timing of reopening the museum. There are too many variables and unknowns. We will not open until it is safe for all. Once we reopen, I believe that it will take several months before visitor traffic and revenue events will be at the level they were before we shut down.
Be assured: Your museum is healthy, and we want to stay that way.