Arts & Entertainment, etc. and Tourist Attractions and Indianapolis Zoo and Tourism & Hospitality

Indianapolis Zoo attendance clipped by weather, economy

November 14, 2009

If only for warm, dry weather at the Indianapolis Zoo: Attendance is down 5 percent, to 894,173, from last year.

Spokeswoman Karen Burns said headcount leaps on warm, sunny days, leading her to blame the weather rather than the economy for the trend.

Attendance from outside the bread-and-butter Indianapolis area—particularly Elkhart, Kokomo and other communities hit hard by the economy—is off. So are visits from out of state.

Those who do venture to the zoo are clearly interested in saving money, Burns said. They search the Internet and call the zoo asking about coupons.

However, they’re spending heavily on pop and other concessions, pushing in-park sales per visitor up 8 percent from last year.

Sales of season tickets are up 5 percent. Many members see the tickets—$105 for a family with two children—as money spent well, Burns said.•

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