Sedgwick County Zoo has revealed an ambitious 25 year masterplan with eight phases, including an aquarium, a hotel and waterpark. The aim is to develop into a multi day destination.
Sedgwick County Zoo is currently the number one attraction in the state, with most of its visitors coming from within a 100 mile radius.
The Zoo has a $14 million annual budget and delivers a $43 million impact on the Wichita economy each year. Opened in 1971, Sedgwick County Zoo currently occupies a footprint of 150 acres within the 250 acre plot it owns. There is potential to expand its animal habitats and other offerings to create a much larger and more varied visitor experience.
This afternoon, @SedgwickCoZoo officials announced their new 25-year master plan for the #1 attraction in the State of Kansas. The public-private master plan includes an aquarium, an African savanna, an indoor water park, a hotel and a restaurant among other improvements. pic.twitter.com/hB9gNaKSAi
— Sedgwick County (@SedgwickCounty) 3 October 2018
Phase one of the masterplan includes renovating and expanding the Zoo’s entrance and an electric train running on a lithium battery. Also included are an expansion of the Amur leopard habitat and a new event centre with a touchpool.
Further down the line, there are more ambitious plans to expand the zoo’s exhibits and to turn the zoo into a multi-day destination.
A new aquarium will expand the existing amphibian and reptile complex to double the footprint. Depending on budget there may be a shark tank and a walkthrough tunnel.
A 200-300 room hotel and destination restaurant, themed as an African lodge is in the plan for the next five years. The development will overlook a renovated savanna area and will include a waterpark and potentially a skyride link to the zoo’s entrance.