Zoo prices increasing this year

Posted at 5:50 PM, Mar 02, 2017

A zoo full of activities employees say they are looking to create an even better learning and enjoyable experience for visitors.

"One thing that we talked about is making the zoo more interactive and we've started doing that over the last few years."

"It's a lot of cool animals and you can spend more than a day there, you can't get the whole zoo in one day."

Dennis Pate with the Henry Doorly Zoo says adding that experience takes adjusting the budget which means people will have to pay more.

"It's never the first thing we look at, it’s normally the last thing we look at, so we can keep the zoo affordable."

Pate says annually they conduct surveys looking at zoos across the nation, similar to what the Omaha zoo offers.

"When you look at what it cost for a family of four for a membership we are consistently at, or below the median."

Pate says the zoo is always above average in the experience.

"We've built new areas that require staffing, so all that requires budget adjusting."

Now membership rates are increasing by six dollars compared to last year and summer daily admission will go up one dollar.

Some zoo visitors say it's not an issue.

"It's an icon in Omaha, people come from miles around to go there, it generates money for Omaha."

"This thing is worth the cost of expanding new things Madagascar, the Safari exhibit." 

This summer Pate says the zoo plans to expand educational programs and begin working on an Asian themed exhibit.

Visitors say they hope the extra cost pays off.

"I hope it goes into some research, I know they do a lot of development and research with the animals, so I hope they are doing good things with it."