ST. PETERSBURG — For 51 weeks of the year, the Dalí Museum is one of the main attractions of the city’s waterfront.
But one week every March, it takes a back seat to the city’s annual Grand Prix.
Cut off from foot traffic by race barriers and racing cars whizzing about at speeds of 180 mph, the museum in previous years provided a shuttle service for people determined to visit during race practice days. Come race weekend, the only way to see the classic works of Spanish surrealist Salvador Dalí was to buy a ticket for the Grand Prix and the museum.
Not surprisingly, the museum was largely empty.
So this year, museum leaders have decided not to compete with the Grand Prix and plan to close the museum during race weekend, March 28-30.
“What we’ve done is to look at the financial impact,” said Kathy Greif, museum marketing director. “It’s not fiscally responsible for us to stay open.”
Museum staff, however, will not be getting the day off. The museum plans to use the time for training.
“We’re looking at ways to use the venue for sponsors,” Greif said. “It really is a wonderful way to see the race