By David Perlmutt
Discovery Place, uptown Charlotte's science and technology museum, will trim operating hours and close its Tryon Street entrance weekdays as a way to save money in a troubled economy.
The museum expects to save $100,000 a year by opening a half-hour later and closing an hour earlier on weekdays, and opening an hour later on Saturdays and closing an hour earlier on Sundays – in addition to closing the entrance, Discovery Place spokeswoman Debra Smul said Wednesday.
So starting Monday, the museum will be open:
9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Friday.
10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday.
Noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.
“We are looking for ways to control costs in response to the economy,” Smul said. “The adjustments in operating hours were made during historically very light visitation times – early in the morning and late in the day.
“We are looking to be fiscally responsible, while making sure that visitors still get the full Discovery Place experience. We think they will.”
By closing the Tryon Street entrance Monday-Friday, the museum won't have to staff an admissions desk. Since there is more street traffic on weekends, that entrance will be open Saturday and Sunday.
Otherwise, visitors can enter by the other two entrances at Sixth and Church streets, and the Level 3 entrance from the museum's Church Street parking deck.
The museum is undergoing a $31.6 million renovation that won't force any exhibits to close, Smul said. For more information, call 704-372-6261, or go to www.discoveryplace.org.