Fixing the KC Zoo (ongoing)

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Re: Fixing the KC Zoo (ongoing)

Post by Major KC Fan »

Yes, yes, & yes!

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Re: Fixing the KC Zoo (ongoing)

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Aquarium was approved

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Re: Fixing the KC Zoo (ongoing)

Post by flyingember »

Open June 2023

https://www.kshb.com/news/local-news/kc ... s-approval

Among ten largest in the county. That will be good for attendance

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Re: Fixing the KC Zoo (ongoing)

Post by FangKC »

I wonder how long it will take after it opens before Sea Life at Crown Center closes?

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Re: Fixing the KC Zoo (ongoing)

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Each facility caters to different situations. Sea Life is a smaller, Crown Center visit situation, while the new aquarium will generally be part of a longer visit to the zoo. Many zoo visitors make it a full day experience, though many with member passes do make smaller partial visits. Sea Life has probably suffered more being an indoor only amenity while the zoo has been able to recoup some of their seasonal revenue being partially open for the 2020 season. Hopefully Sea Life will survive to keep a smaller, quicker visit option open for both KC residents and visitors alike.

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Re: Fixing the KC Zoo (ongoing)

Post by earthling »

^Yeah I see them as two different situations as well. Sea Life gets Legoland combo ticket sales and general CC visitor spill over while Zoo aquarium will get Zoo day trip visitors.

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Re: Fixing the KC Zoo (ongoing)

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Major KC Fan wrote:
Mon Dec 07, 2020 12:25 am
Each facility caters to different situations. Sea Life is a smaller, Crown Center visit situation, while the new aquarium will generally be part of a longer visit to the zoo. Many zoo visitors make it a full day experience, though many with member passes do make smaller partial visits. Sea Life has probably suffered more being an indoor only amenity while the zoo has been able to recoup some of their seasonal revenue being partially open for the 2020 season. Hopefully Sea Life will survive to keep a smaller, quicker visit option open for both KC residents and visitors alike.
I would expect they focus on selling in the store as the center of their efforts and have all the standard ways to get people to buy tickets like sending coupons to schools to hand out, earning free tickets through sales in the store, new membership tiers with higher costs

I can see them partnering with stores in crown center for bundled experiences, like the crayola store sells tickets and gets a cut of ones they sell and you get 10% off your purchase there too with a same day ticket. Sell Crown Center as the place for family even more than today.

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Re: Fixing the KC Zoo (ongoing)

Post by moderne »

60,000 sq ft does not seem very large, comparable to about a dozen houses in Briarcliff West.

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Re: Fixing the KC Zoo (ongoing)

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moderne wrote:
Mon Dec 07, 2020 2:28 pm
60,000 sq ft does not seem very large, comparable to about a dozen houses in Briarcliff West.
Triple the Penguin Building

That aquarium is 100,000 sq feet so the water exhibit space will be 6x larger in 3x the physical space.

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Re: Fixing the KC Zoo (ongoing)

Post by KCtoBrooklyn »

The Zoo could really use a second entrance for easier access to other parts of the park. Ideally, it would be good to have an entrance directly to the Africa section, but I don't think that is feasible.

If the aquarium is going in the valley where the bear pits used to be, I think you could add a second entrance closer to it. It would be off the south end of the parking lot and would also put you right by the new elephant exhibit. People could do aquarium/Africa on one trip with the new entrance, and another trip for everything else via the current entrance. I know for my family, with two young kids, we can't make it through the full zoo in one trip.

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Re: Fixing the KC Zoo (ongoing)

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Multiple entrances are common in urban surrounded zoos. Having another entrance by the elephant exhibit/Valley (aquarium) would be really close to the current entrance. Not sure that would be a good use of funds/personnel. An entrance off Gregory could be constructed that would enter into Africa around the lions/rhinos exhibits. It would entail creating the entrance and parking lots out of a heavily wooded area and would be in the Blue River flood plain-possible big expensive negatives. I’d rather see more upgrades to the 1990s Africa exhibits, which are really showing their age, both exhibit wise and infrastructure wise. I’ve got first hand knowledge of some of those infrastructure issues that need to be addressed. Africa itself is a great and very popular section of the zoo and has plenty of land to add/expand exhibits. For example, the hippo exhibit really needs an upgrade to include underwater viewing. Ideally it could be expanded/revamped to include the hippos, crocs and other East African species with an indoor viewing area for the colder months. The tram system could also be expanded with all weather trams that could encircle Africa to get visitors to this area without having to walk so far in the cold. These improvements could greatly increase the number of visitors in the colder months bringing much needed year-round revenues.

All of this would take funds the zoo doesn’t have at this time-we need full metro participation in the funding that is already contributed by Jackson and Clay counties.

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Re: Fixing the KC Zoo (ongoing)

Post by flyingember »

The only place I could ever see putting a new entrance would be towards 63rd and Manchester, and it would take a major expansion to need that

Thinking that direction would benefit long-term development
Today with the bus and maybe someday a train could have a stop shared between the community center, water dept and zoo


I feel like a major winter animal access program is where KC should focus it's money.

Houston has animal buildings people can go into before they go outside for the day. It gives flexibility to the zoo so they can care for the animals indoors and still gives public access year-round. A lot of the African animals need to come indoors in winter and disappear when it's cold. Rearranging the entire zoo, zoo paths and buildings to enable 100% animal access year-round seems like a great 10-year plan.

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Re: Fixing the KC Zoo (ongoing)

Post by KCtoBrooklyn »

Major KC Fan wrote:
Wed Dec 09, 2020 2:28 pm
Having another entrance by the elephant exhibit/Valley (aquarium) would be really close to the current entrance.
Yeah, I agree that the spacing is not ideal. However, I think it would be be the cheapest/easiest spot to add another entrance. The walking distance from the current entrance to the elephant exhibit is not huge, but it is not insignificant. With the new aquarium, I think it would be nice to have an entrance that could put you right there. Especially for Friends of the Zoo Members or anyone else who likes to make frequent, short trips to the zoo. Just being able to pop in to see the aquarium and elephants would be nice if you only have a short amount of time.

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Re: Fixing the KC Zoo (ongoing)

Post by Highlander »

KCtoBrooklyn wrote:
Wed Dec 09, 2020 5:01 pm
Major KC Fan wrote:
Wed Dec 09, 2020 2:28 pm
Having another entrance by the elephant exhibit/Valley (aquarium) would be really close to the current entrance.
Yeah, I agree that the spacing is not ideal. However, I think it would be be the cheapest/easiest spot to add another entrance. The walking distance from the current entrance to the elephant exhibit is not huge, but it is not insignificant. With the new aquarium, I think it would be nice to have an entrance that could put you right there. Especially for Friends of the Zoo Members or anyone else who likes to make frequent, short trips to the zoo. Just being able to pop in to see the aquarium and elephants would be nice if you only have a short amount of time.
It would be easy to put another entrance in Africa. The entrance could go in one of two places: 1. In the little Africa town area which would be ideal or 2. on the island in the Lagoon. For the Africa town entrance, there is already an unpaved access road from the Swope Park pool to this location. It could be paved and parking could be angled along either side. This entrance would be just northwest of the boathouse. There is room for a small entrance facility but parking would be limited.

The other entrance in Africa is the Lagoon island but it's less ideal overall because it would intersect the Africa circular trail near its end (past the wild dogs) but better for parking. A road could be extended from the Swope Park swimming pool area onto the island. There is not much room for parking on the parts of the island unused by the zoo presently but parking could be created by filling in the cutoff northern or eastern limbs of the lagoon. They are not used for anything.

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Re: Fixing the KC Zoo (ongoing)

Post by Highlander »

TrolliKC wrote:
Mon Mar 09, 2020 10:39 am
zoo also needs more beer sold - best part of the san diego zoo IMO
One of the things I enjoyed about European zoos was the very good food. Not just pre-made crap like burgers and dogs but in some locales actual sit down restaurants with service and a range of alcoholic beverages.

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Re: Fixing the KC Zoo (ongoing)

Post by Highlander »

flyingember wrote:
Mon Dec 07, 2020 2:31 pm
moderne wrote:
Mon Dec 07, 2020 2:28 pm
60,000 sq ft does not seem very large, comparable to about a dozen houses in Briarcliff West.
Triple the Penguin Building

That aquarium is 100,000 sq feet so the water exhibit space will be 6x larger in 3x the physical space.
Not super ambitious for an aquarium but it will be a nice infill project in a currently dead part of the zoo.

I'd love to see the zoo infill the area between the children's zoo and the Australia/Asian exhibits. That's a long walk through nothing. Some North American or even Missouri native species (extand/extinct in the state) would be great: Deer, Elk, Black Bear, Mountain lion, wolf, etc...

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Re: Fixing the KC Zoo (ongoing)

Post by normalthings »

Highlander wrote:
Thu Dec 10, 2020 12:19 am
flyingember wrote:
Mon Dec 07, 2020 2:31 pm
moderne wrote:
Mon Dec 07, 2020 2:28 pm
60,000 sq ft does not seem very large, comparable to about a dozen houses in Briarcliff West.
Triple the Penguin Building

That aquarium is 100,000 sq feet so the water exhibit space will be 6x larger in 3x the physical space.
Not super ambitious for an aquarium but it will be a nice infill project in a currently dead part of the zoo.

I'd love to see the zoo infill the area between the children's zoo and the Australia/Asian exhibits. That's a long walk through nothing. Some North American or even Missouri native species (extand/extinct in the state) would be great: Deer, Elk, Black Bear, Mountain lion, wolf, etc...
The Topeka Zoo has some fantastic exhibits based around local wildlife. I think they said that locals were very excited to fund projects related to native species.

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Re: Fixing the KC Zoo (ongoing)

Post by flyingember »

Highlander wrote:
Thu Dec 10, 2020 12:09 am

The other entrance in Africa is the Lagoon island but it's less ideal overall because it would intersect the Africa circular trail near its end (past the wild dogs) but better for parking. A road could be extended from the Swope Park swimming pool area onto the island. There is not much room for parking on the parts of the island unused by the zoo presently but parking could be created by filling in the cutoff northern or eastern limbs of the lagoon. They are not used for anything.
Destroying wetlands is going to be impossible with all the environmental protection they have

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Re: Fixing the KC Zoo (ongoing)

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Highlander wrote:
Thu Dec 10, 2020 12:16 am
TrolliKC wrote:
Mon Mar 09, 2020 10:39 am
zoo also needs more beer sold - best part of the san diego zoo IMO
One of the things I enjoyed about European zoos was the very good food. Not just pre-made crap like burgers and dogs but in some locales actual sit down restaurants with service and a range of alcoholic beverages.
Hell, if they just had a McDonald's and Taco Bell it would be better than what they have now.
Quocunque Jeceris Stabit

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Re: Fixing the KC Zoo (ongoing)

Post by Major KC Fan »

The area between the Red Barn Children’s area and Australia (the site of the old Ape House) is slated to be a Predator Canyon exhibit. Not sure which animals (other than they’re to be predators) would be in that area. I’ve heard that the aquarium won out over the canyon for the next major improvement in the zoo but would suspect that the canyon will be the next major addition once the aquarium is up and running. Just like the rest of us, “home improvements” are prioritized according to our budgets. Maybe a large benefactor(s) could step up and accelerate the start of the planned Predator Canyon). I’ll bet they would get their name on the exhibit. And I hate to keep harping on it but adding more area counties to the regional taxing support for the zoo would really help move things along....

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