NC Zoo Council approves ticket price increase

The N.C. Zoo Council recently voted to approve an increase in the cost of admission to the North Carolina Zoo. The council, which is comprised of 15 members appointed by the governor to oversee the operation and development of the zoo, held a virtual meeting to discuss the matter on February 8. According to Pat Simmons, Director and CEO of the North Carolina Zoo, “zoo funding comes 50% from the State with the other 50% from gate ticket sales,” but the cost of running the zoo has gone up over the years. Revenue from ticket sales has not grown to match the increased maintenance cost. The North Carolina Zoo’s proposal, which was approved, will increase the in-person ticket prices from $15 to $20 for adult admission. In addition, it also recommends a new seasonal rate to accommodate the fact that many African animals’ habitat requirements change in the colder months. Finally, a fixed discounted rate of $5 per person was proposed for holders of electronic benefit cards to make it easier for economically disadvantaged populations to enjoy a day at the zoo. The approved proposal has been sent to the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources for a final decision. If approved, the price changes could go into effect as early as mid-March.

By Randolph Record