Thanks in large part to King Tut and a 100th birthday bash, Union Station ended 2014 with a cash balance of more than $4.3 million before depreciation.
It was the fifth year in a row the once struggling operation enjoyed a surplus — and the largest one yet.
“We had an excellent year,” said Jerry Baber, executive vice president and chief operating officer at Union Station. “We’re very happy.”
The station’s core operations were more than $1.6 million in the black. Much of that was attributable to the popular King Tut traveling exhibition.
But the station also received about $1.1 million over expenses in connection with the centennial observance last year. Most of that money will go into a preservation and maintenance account.
In addition, Union Station raised about $1.6 million toward a capital improvement project expected to begin construction this year. The project, which includes $2.25 million in state tax credits, involves a pedestrian and vehicular bridge between the west end of Union Station and the existing garage, a new entrance to Science City and other improvements.
The station also saw a significant increase in lease revenues in 2014.
Union Station lost money for years before embarking on a new strategy that involved maximizing lease revenues and eschewing exhibits and projects that are not likely to be profitable.