The year 2013 marks an important milestone for the Battleship New Jersey. The year will be another filled with challenges for those who struggle to keep this historic icon afloat in tight financial times.

Flickr User Allie_Caulfield
Flickr User Allie_Caulfield

In May, the Battleship New Jersey will mark the 70th anniversary of its original commissioning with a gala event that will include a lot of dignitaries.

Chief Executive Officer Phillip Rowan says visitors will arrive here from Australia, Japan, China, Holland, Germany and England, among other places.

Rowan says, "The guests are coming from all over the world to see the Battleship New Jersey. So it's an important tourist attraction to the state."

State aid for the ship peaked in 2007 and has dwindled ever since. However, Rowan says fundraisers and a proactive effort to meet an operating budget that includes money for heat, electricity and visitor tour improvements is keeping this important part of state history alive.

According to Rowan, staff at the battleship are hoping to switch to natural gas heat, as well as updated light fixtures. But even updates meant to save money in the long-term will have a financial drag in the short-term.

In addition to taking tour groups of up to 15 through the previously closed-off innards of the number two gun turret, which stretch five stories below deck to the bottom of the ship, the public will be able to walk through Broadway, a 400-foot-long hallway connecting all three turrets.

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