A total of 615, 086 guests visited Nashville Zoo in 2009, a record-breaking 16 percent increase from 2008 and an all-time high attendance for the Zoo.
Zoo memberships increased by nine percent from 2008 to 24, 155 households representing approximately 115, 000 people. Last year’s attendance increase is the result of several factors, including new animal additions, great weather and an economy that kept families close to home.
“The addition of some new animals definitely helped jump-start our 2009 season, ” states Zoo President Rick Schwartz. “In March we introduced white tiger cubs, eight zebras and a pair of giant anteaters over a threeweek period leading up to and including spring break. We were successful with the birth of three clouded leopard cubs over the summer and were able to present those to our guests through the fall.”
The Zoo’s new animals and cooler summer weather helped with record-breaking monthly attendance in April, June, July and August. Warmer temperatures helped with a record attendance month in November. The Zoo’s attendance figures also show the economy playing a key role.
“Normally, about 30 percent of our guests are Zoo members, ” says Schwartz. “Last year, that increased to 39 percent showing us that many families took advantage of their memberships more often. This is understandable considering reports of many families staying home instead of vacationing.” Nashville Zoo’s tourist attendance (anyone living outside Davidson and surrounding counties) has remained largely unchanged at about 34 percent of total
Nashville Zoo plans to open a new Caribbean flamingo habitat in late spring of 2010. The new area will not only add a beautiful and popular species to the animal collection, but the habitat will include improvements to the overall water quality throughout the park.
It is through the support of guests, members and donors that the Zoo is able to offer quality educational experiences. “Nearly 46, 000 children visit the Zoo as part of their education curriculum, ” says Schwartz. “We offer more than 1, 200 educational programs on site and through our outreach initiatives. While a strong attendance is something that we are certainly proud of, our mission to inspire a culture of understanding and discovery of our natural world remains our key focus. We are deeply appreciative for the support of our patrons that allow us to continue to fulfill our goals.”
Nashville Zoo is accredited by the prestigious Association of Zoos and Aquariums, assuring the highest standards of animal care and husbandry. The Zoo is a non-profit organization located at 3777 Nolensville Road and is open every day except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. The mission of the Nashville Zoo is to inspire a culture ofunderstanding and discovery of our natural world through conservation, innovation and leadership. For more information about Nashville Zoo, call 615-833-1534 or visit www.nashvillezoo.org.
Zoos: Nashville Zoo Attendance Soars