One of Butte’s most popular tourist destinations is back up and running — Friday marked the World Museum of Mining's 2020 season opening.
Museum Executive Director Jeanette Kopf and her staff have been implementing new safety measures to meet the required guidelines on what they call a phased re-opening.
“Our tour capacity is greatly reduced. We’ve reduced it to about one third of what we would normally do for our tour capacity," Kopf said. "On those tours face masks will have to be worn by our guest, our tour guides will have face shields so they can project their voice. It’s pretty hard to talk in a face mask for an hour.”
Normal operations for the staff will surely look a lot different from the year's past. However the museum is happy to share a brand new tour for its guests this season.
“We decided to offer this to the public this year. Again because we aren’t opening up the whole museum, we wanted to share Butte’s mining history," said Kopf. "So it’s really a walk through the mine yard. You go into the original engine room of the Orphan Girl mine, walk under the headframe, just to get a little bit of an idea of the operations of a mine yard.”
Like many tourist driven businesses in the Mining City, the museum is staying optimistic in hopes they can sustain operations during this tough time while prioritizing health and safety for all.
“We have been on a steady incline of guests and we’ve had a record breaking year almost every year. We’re not going to have that this year," Kopf adds. "I’m not even aiming to have that this year. My goal is to keep everyone healthy and safe this year, whatever those numbers may be.”
The museum encourages guests to make reservations ahead of time or purchase your tickets online on their website, World Museum of Mining