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UPDATED: Georgia Radio Hall of Fame shuts its doors permanently due to lack of interest

The Georgia Radio Museum in LaGrange has closed permanently, according to a press release from the Georgia Radio Hall of Fame.

The museum had been closed since March 13 due to COVID-19. It first opened July 1, 2018, as a guest exhibit at the Troup County Archives, and after a good response, the museum leased a space located at 714 Lincoln Street, opening July 1, 2019.

“The non-profit invested thousands to bring the tourist attraction to the city,” the press release said. “The museum attracted visitors from all over the and state and region.”

Museum CEO John Long said the museum closed due to financial challenges and “receiving virtually no support from anybody” in the community. Long said after the initial success of the archives exhibit, support from local government and the chamber of commerce evaporated when the museum opened on Lincoln Street.

“It was like we did not exist,” Long said. 

TripAdvisor reviews, media publicity and some ad purchases seemed to help increase attendance, but the museum wasn’t financially stable in the long term, Long said. 

Fixed costs such as rent, utilities and security were being subsidized by member support, not by sales.

Long thanked Troup County Archives Executive Director Shannon Gavin Johnson for her support, as well as LaGrange City Council Member Tom Gore, who Long said was the only public official that supported and visited the museum.

“No one liked our museum,” Long said, adding that he was sad to be leaving his hometown after having high hopes for the museum two years ago.

Talks have started to reopen the museum in a new location in an undisclosed part of the state, according to the press release. Long said negotiations had been underway for months but didn’t want to say which city would host the museum as it wasn’t a “done deal.”

The museum and hall of fame will still host its annual awards banquet, albeit virtually, starting Sept. 9. 

Long said the event was still in planning but that it would be streamed for “a week or so.” To stream the event, tickets must be purchased.