Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden in Evansville is reporting a 30 percent increase in attendance in 2008, with nearly 190,000 visitors. Officials cite the opening of its new rainforest exhibit "Amazonia" for the growth. More than 90,000 visited the zoo after the opening, more than doubling the amount that attended during the same time period in 2007. The zoo's revenue also grew by more than 50 percent over last year.
New Exhibit Leads to Record Breaking Year For Zoo
Evansville, Ind. -- Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden is pleased to announce that 2008 was a record breaking year in more ways than one. Zoo attendance in 2008 was 180,857, nearly 30% higher than attendance in 2007. A large part of the increased attendance can be attributed to the opening last August of the highly anticipated rainforest exhibit, “AMAZONIA, Forest of Riches”. From AMAZONIA’s opening to the end of 2008, more than 90,000 people visited the Zoo. This more than doubles the 42,000 visitors that attended during the same time period in 2007.
“The numbers speak for themselves. AMAZONIA has been a tremendous success for the Zoo and for the City,” said Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel. “I would like to congratulate the staff at Mesker Park Zoo on a great year and for the hard work and dedication that continues to go into AMAZONIA each and every day.”
In addition to attendance, Zoo revenue increased by more than 50% from 2007 to 2008 due in part to the increased number of visitors and the fact that the Zoo now operates its own gift shop. “Our attendance and revenue numbers are very pleasing,” stated Erik Beck, the Zoo’s General Curator “but the number of people we’ve positively impacted with our conservation and education message should also be celebrated.”
Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden’s mission is to, “foster the preservation of the Earth’s diverse species and living systems through an active role in education and conservation in our regional and professional community. We strive to forge connections between people and the natural world by providing quality experiences that promote understanding and celebrate the rich tapestry of life.”
Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden is open 365 days a year from 9 AM – 5 PM; entry gate closes at 4 PM. Reduced winter admission rates for adults are $6.50 and children ages 3-12 are $5.50. Children under 3 are free. In recognition of their support, Vanderburgh County residents receive $1 discount. Please visit www.meskerparkzoo.com for information regarding yearly memberships or other Zoo services.
Source: Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden & http://www.insideindianabusiness.com/newsitem.asp?ID=33246