Tea Party Ship loses $3.6m

Tea Party Ship loses $3.6m

In 3d year, museum boosts revenue but losses continue

THE BOSTON TEA PARTY Ships and Museum boosted revenue in its third year of operation, but continued to lose money, nearly $3.6 million.

Damaged by fire in 2001, the museum commemorating the 1773 tax rebellion against the British by the Sons of Liberty reopened in 2012 with the help of an $18 million loan from the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority. The museum had forecast net operating income of $1.5 million to $1.8 million a year, but so far hasn’t yet been able to turn a profit.

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Bruce Mohl

Editor, CommonWealth

About Bruce Mohl

Bruce Mohl is the editor of CommonWealth magazine. Bruce came to CommonWealth from the Boston Globe, where he spent nearly 30 years in a wide variety of positions covering business and politics. He covered the Massachusetts State House and served as the Globe’s State House bureau chief in the late 1980s. He also reported for the Globe’s Spotlight Team, winning a Loeb award in 1992 for coverage of conflicts of interest in the state’s pension system. He served as the Globe’s political editor in 1994 and went on to cover consumer issues for the newspaper. At CommonWealth, Bruce helped launch the magazine’s website and has written about a wide range of issues with a special focus on politics, tax policy, energy, and gambling. Bruce is a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He lives in Dorchester.

About Bruce Mohl

Bruce Mohl is the editor of CommonWealth magazine. Bruce came to CommonWealth from the Boston Globe, where he spent nearly 30 years in a wide variety of positions covering business and politics. He covered the Massachusetts State House and served as the Globe’s State House bureau chief in the late 1980s. He also reported for the Globe’s Spotlight Team, winning a Loeb award in 1992 for coverage of conflicts of interest in the state’s pension system. He served as the Globe’s political editor in 1994 and went on to cover consumer issues for the newspaper. At CommonWealth, Bruce helped launch the magazine’s website and has written about a wide range of issues with a special focus on politics, tax policy, energy, and gambling. Bruce is a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He lives in Dorchester.

For the year ending March 31, 2015, the museum reported revenue of $4.4 million (up $1 million from the previous year) and expenses of $7.2 million. Once interest expenses were included, the museum’s net loss was $3.6 million. Financial records of the museum’s for-profit owner, Historic Tours of America, are provided to the Convention Center Authority, which released them to CommonWealth on request.

In a January 2015 CommonWealth story on the museum’s finances, officials said they expected another loss during the year ending March 31, 2015, before attaining profitability the following fiscal year.

Historic Tours has been operating the museum since 1993 at the Congress Street Bridge over Fort Point Channel. Historic Tours spent $4 million of its own money rebuilding the attraction after the 2001 fire and also received a $3 million grant from the Boston Redevelopment Authority and the $18 million convention center loan.