HellZiggy (hellziggy) wrote,
HellZiggy
hellziggy

Holy crap! Everyone's going to the zoo!

From the Minnesota Zoo website

"The Minnesota Zoo had its best year since 1999, with fiscal year attendance (July 1, 2007–June 30, 2008) totaling 1,162,163."

"The Zoo’s strong attendance gains began last summer with the opening of the renovated Medtronic Minnesota Trail, which immediately became a fan favorite. Guests have also found the 20-month construction project of Russia’s Grizzly Coast well worth the wait. The opening of this $24 million exhibit on June 7 contributed to a blockbuster month, with attendance of 221,414, second only to June 1978 – the first full month the Zoo was open 30 years ago."

I'm just thrilled with all the new exhibits and renovations that Lee Ehmke has been pushing for since coming here. The MN Zoo has always been a great zoo and he is really making sure it goes past great to exceptional!

For Immediate Release, July 9, 2008
Contact: Kelly Lessard 952.431.9217

Minnesota Zoo’s Attendance Tops 1.1 Million
Russia’s Grizzly Coast a Crowd Pleaser

Apple Valley, MN – July 9, 2008: The Minnesota Zoo had its best year since 1999, with fiscal year attendance (July 1, 2007–June 30, 2008) totaling 1,162,163. Zoo memberships are at an all-time high of 36,538 households (representing over 150,000 individuals), and the Zoo’s food service provider Lancer Hospitality–along with retail partner Service Systems Associates–both reported record years.

The Zoo’s strong attendance gains began last summer with the opening of the renovated Medtronic Minnesota Trail, which immediately became a fan favorite. Guests have also found the 20-month construction project of Russia’s Grizzly Coast well worth the wait. The opening of this $24 million exhibit on June 7 contributed to a blockbuster month, with attendance of 221,414, second only to June 1978 – the first full month the Zoo was open 30 years ago.

These transformative projects—key components of the Zoo’s strategic plan—were made possible by significant state capital funding. This strong demonstration of support by the state has also spurred a dramatic rise in the Zoo’s private fundraising. In the past two years, the Minnesota Zoo Foundation has increased its annual income by 250%, from $2.2 million (FY06) to $7.7 million (FY08).

“Russia’s Grizzly Coast and the adjacent new Central Plaza represent a complete makeover of the prime real estate at the core of the Minnesota Zoo,” said Zoo Director/CEO Lee Ehmke. “We are very pleased to see our guests responding so positively to these dramatic and fun new experiences, which have been recognized as world class by industry experts, Minnesota media and most importantly by Zoo visitors who are voting with their feet in record numbers.”

The Minnesota Zoo’s attendance gains are consistent with many zoos across the country that have experienced record or near-record attendance this past year. According to the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), accredited zoos and aquariums in North America welcome more than 150 million visitors each year.

New in 2009
A new addition to the Zoo’s Central Plaza will be the “Forest Adventure Playground,” a nature play area where children will discover oversized models of animals and natural objects, explore hollow tree boles and climb on suspension bridges, nets, tunnels and slides. The Playground is scheduled to open in the summer of 2009, and is being made possible through generous support from General Mills.

Returning to the Zoo next summer is Africa: Summer on the Savanna. This popular, seasonal exhibit will feature a variety of African animals including giraffes, zebras, antelopes, gazelles and ostriches. It will offer the spectacular experience of viewing herds of these large, charismatic animals, co-existing as they do on the grasslands of Africa. The exhibit will be open from Memorial weekend through Labor Day weekend.

The Minnesota Zoo is located in Apple Valley, just minutes south of Mall of America. For more information, call 952.431.9500 or visit mnzoo.org. The Minnesota Zoo is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and an institutional member of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA).
Tags: zoo
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