Published October 17. 2011 4:00AM
Mystic - Mystic Seaport, one of the state's most popular tourist attractions, plans to close for six weeks this winter because the light visitation during that time does not justify staying open, said museum spokesman Dan McFadden.
The museum will close from Jan. 2 to Feb. 15.
The past two winters the museum, which is widely known as a fair weather attraction even though it has many indoor exhibits, operated on a reduced schedule during the winter but remained open.
McFadden said the museum has tried a variety of different schedules over the years but has not yet found the right combination of days and hours for the winter.
Over the past few years, the museum has begun working to develop plans to turn itself into more of a year-round destination.
McFadden said the closure will allow the museum "to focus our efforts on planning and preparation for the new season."
McFadden said staff members will continue to work during the closure although some employees involved with exhibits will see a slight reduction in their hours.
The museum is scheduled to reopen on Feb. 16 for school vacation week and will remain open every day through Feb. 26 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
It will then resume its traditional winter schedule on March 1, operating Thursday through Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and closed the other three days.
The museum plans to begin operating seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on March 31.
The museum stores, Maritime Gallery, and Latitude 41 Restaurant will be open on a reduced schedule during the closure.