Patriots Point plans to reinvent the USS Yorktown

By Lia

MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCIV) -- Patriots Point could become more "Disney" with plans to make the historic artifact come to life.

"Museums today, in order to survive and thrive, have to be on the cutting edge and know who their audience is. They got to appeal to the audience as they try to tell their story," Patriots Point executive director, Mac Burdette said.

The Patriots Point Development Authority Board has awarded a contract to develop a Museum Experience Master Plan for the USS Yorktown to MUSAIC Design Group. The goal of the project is to create a more interactive experience for all visitors by putting in the latest technology.

"We are still going to tell our story, the sacrifices and naval history that it has always been, but find a different way to tell it," Burdette said. "We are going to bring this ship to life. So, when people go on the flight decks, below deck, they are going to gain a great understanding of what life was like on this carrier during times of peace and war."

The Yorktown will turn 70 next year. As the ship ages, the demographics have grown younger, and that's why it's so important to make the changes, Burdette said.

"Our three-year business plan calls for us to increase attendance by 40, 000 within the next 3 to 4 years -- to do that you have to have a product to attract those people," Burdette said.

Those who came out to the Yorktown Wednesday said they feel positive about making the Yorktown more tech savvy.

"Most of the people we have today are visually oriented. Unfortunately, they don't take the time to read anymore. So, they would probably learn more history if they were able to push a button and something would happen," veteran Richard Feggeler said.

"Our goal at the end of four years is if you come to Charleston on vacation the one place you want to make sure you don't miss is going to be the museum on the USS Yorktown," Burdette said.

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