The Zuni Electric crew at the museum preparing to drill deep holes, pour concrete and set tie downs in preparation for the arrival of the German Air Force Tornado. Courtesy/NMMSH
ALAMOGORDO ― Museum members will have exclusive access to the Tornado jet fighter when the aircraft is showcased Sunday, Jan. 13 at the Otero County Fairgrounds.
Beginning at noon Jan. 13, the public is invited to come to the fairgrounds for the official hand-off of the plane from the German Air Force to the museum.
The ceremony is planned for 1 p.m. and before and after the ceremony, museum members will have exclusive access to the Tornado, which will be behind barricades to protect it. They also will have the opportunity to take advantage of other special discounts being offered during the event only, such as an additional ten percent at the onsite gift shop and for summer camp registrations.
“We’re kicking off the New Year with a whirlwind membership drive during the Tornado event,” said International Space Hall of Fame Foundation (ISHFF) President Johnny Powell.
The ISHFF handles memberships for the museum and the funds raised through memberships are used to support museum activities such as education programs, new exhibits, and more.
“Our goal is to at least double our current membership during this event and as extra incentive, we’ll be offering one time only discounts and of course, access to the Tornado,” Powell said.
Museum members receive 10 percent off gift shop purchases and summer camp registrations as a member benefit, however during the Tornado event at the fairgrounds that discount jumps up to 20 percent. In addition, discounts also will be offered at onsite food vendors.
Museum members will be able to get inside the barrier around the jet, take photos and even pretend like they’re towing it themselves.
“If you are a museum member, and you want to bring your son or daughter along with their tricycle or batmobile, we’ll hook it up to the tow bar and pretend like your youngster is pulling that plane right across the fairgrounds!” Powell said.
Current museum members are encouraged to attend and take advantage of the photo opportunity and the onsite instant discounts.
The museum’s gift shop will be onsite under the tent, signing up new museum members and registering existing members. Each member will receive a set number of tickets that they’ll be able to use to gain access to the Tornado, redeem for discounts at on-site vendors like Au Jus BBQ or use to get an extra discount on summer camp programs. The museum’s education department will be on hand with exciting science demonstrations, free activities for the kids, and hourly “trash can launches.”
To become a museum member prior to the event, Powell recommended a visit to the museum gift shop. “Our gift shop staff is ready to sign new members up right now, or at least from ten to five on Monday and Wednesday thru Saturday, or noon to five on Sunday,” he said. In addition, new members can also register on the museum’s website. “The advantage to getting your membership before the event is that all you’ll have to do that day is show up and sign in at our registration table,” said Powell. Museum memberships start at $35 for an individual.