How the Museum of Sex Turned a Nonprofit Snub into an Asset The entrepreneur behind this unconventional attraction went all the way.
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New York's Museum of Sex (MoSex) got a lot of press attention before it opened in 2002--but not for the sensational reasons one might expect. The stories focused on the state Board of Regents' refusal to charter MoSex as a nonprofit. Using "sex" in the same breath as "museum" makes a mockery of the institution, they said, forcing founder Daniel Gluck to open a for-profit museum.
Gluck wasn't too upset with the state's decision. Worried that conservative-leaning nonprofit board members would undermine his mission to frankly explore "the history, evolution and cultural significance of human sexuality," he had originally planned to launch the museum as a private venture--but advisors encouraged him to try for nonprofit status.
Once jilted by the state, the Wharton grad felt free to pursue his original, for-profit vision (with a nice publicity boost from the brouhaha). Since opening day, growth has been slow but steady, with a 15 percent uptick in traffic each year. The museum, on Fifth Avenue in the Flatiron District, broke even operationally after the first year. Gluck predicts a profit of 15 to 20 percent of net for this year, and expects that percentage to double in 2013. MoSex is adding 15 employees, and the facility's basement bar/cafe will be shuttered in September in favor of a full-service restaurant.