Sailors perform in honor of a Pearl Harbor survivor during a Dec. 7 interment at the USS Arizona Memorial at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii. (MCS 2nd Class Sean Furey / Navy)
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PEARL HARBOR, HAWAII — Officials say more tickets to visit the USS Arizona Memorial are being picked up online in bulk orders of 65.
Critics blame tour companies, and they say no tickets are left by the time individual visitors try to reserve them.
Ken DeHoff Jr., the executive director of the Pacific Aviation Museum nearby, said many visitors don’t visit Pearl Harbor when they see tickets are sold out online. He told KHON that museum revenues are down by 20 percent since January.
The National Park Service issues 4,500 tickets each day to visit the memorial to sailors and Marines killed in the Dec. 7, 1941, attack. It distributes half of them online and half in person.
The tickets are free. People may either pick them up in person at the visitor’s center in Pearl Harbor or reserve them online for a $1.50 processing fee.
Online, people may reserve up to 65 tickets at a time up to six months in advance. There’s no limit to the number of times you can reserve them
Ticket companies are to blame for the ticket hoarding, noting the $1.50 per-ticket fee, DeHoff said.
“There are very few individuals who are going to buy 65 tickets for every 15- or 30-minute tour all day long,” he said.
The companies are able to include the tickets as part of package tours offering transportation and stops at other historic sites, he said. Packages can cost anywhere from $90-$130.
Paul DePrey, superintendent of the WWII Valor in the Pacific National Monument, said he’s noticed a lot more tickets are being reserved 65 at a time. The park service is working to improve the system, he said.
People should know that more tickets are available if you go directly to the box office, especially in the afternoon, DePrey said.