Wednesday, January 13 2010
Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden in Evansville reports 2009 was a record year for attendance and revenue. More than 202,000 people visited the zoo, compared to nearly 181,000 in 2008. Revenue was $1.4 million, up from $1.2 million the previous year.
(EVANSVILLE, IN)-2009 shattered attendance and revenue records set in 2008 at Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden. Attendance in 2009 was 202,224, a 12% increase over 2008 (180,857). Revenue in 2009 was $1,456,627 which was 20.7% higher than in 2008 ($1,206,645).
“It is rewarding to see how much interest the Zoo is attracting. We had high hopes for AMAZONIA when it opened in 2008 and it has certainly lived up to those expectations,” said Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel. “It is especially gratifying to have such a good year when other state attractions did not fare as well.”
Zoo staff set a goal of breaking 200,000 visitors in 2009. They were aided in that effort by a free admission day on December 26th which was underwritten by Toyota. 3,766 people took advantage of the free admission; it also brought out some visitors who hadn’t been to the Zoo in years.
“In addition to the idea of doing a free day to reach our mark, the day represented a good marketing tool for individuals who would not visit the Zoo otherwise and we look forward to them coming back to visit this summer when the zoo and botanical areas are in full splendor,” said Amos Morris, Zoo Director
The opening of AMAZONIA, Forest of Riches helped boost numbers and revenue in 2008. The Zoo also began operating its own gift shop. Attendance in 2009 was increased again by the popularity of AMAZONIA, which now has its own new attraction – 2 new female jaguar cubs named Zimba and Maya. In 2009, the Zoo also welcomed a new Indian rhino, Mechi, and unveiled the newly renovated nocturnal exhibit in the Kley Building.
Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden is open 365 days a year from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; the entry gate closes at 4:00 p.m. Reduced winter admission rates for adults are $6.50 and children ages 3 -12- are $5.50. Children under three are free. In recognition of their support, Vanderburgh county residents receive a $1 discount. Please visit www.meskerparkzoo.com for more information regarding yearly memberships or other zoo services.
Source: Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden & Inside INdiana Business http://www.insideindianabusiness.com/newsitem.asp?ID=39559