Ohio Zoos grow in popularity

Posted Monday, May 21, 2007 10:50 AM | Contributed by Jeff

Ohio's five city zoos, already among the most attended in the country, are planning major renovations and expansions over the next five to 10 years. The popularity of zoos in Akron, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus and Toledo keeps growing. Ohio and California are the only states with at least three zoos that draw more than 1 million people a year, according to the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

Read more from AP via The Akron Beacon Journal.

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Monday, May 21, 2007 12:31 PM
Cleveland does have a great zoo.
We visit it at least 3 times a year.
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Monday, May 21, 2007 12:33 PM
I'm curious to see if/how the fact that the Fulton Rd. Bridge was imploded will affect the Cleveland Zoos attendance.
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Monday, May 21, 2007 2:49 PM
This thread has perfet timing. We were just in Cleveland for the Indians game and wanted to kill a day, so we chose to go to the zoo. It was OK...but Columbus is a much better facility IMO. Cleveland needs some serious work.

That said, we are all very much looking forward to the Columbus Zoo's expansion into a full-fledged amusement park/zoo next year.

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Monday, May 21, 2007 4:02 PM
The biggest issue with the Cleveland zoo is that it's so spread out, and some sections are just in dire need of being updated. The cat and primate building is the worst, I think.

Still a beautiful zoo overall though. I'm biased though because I grew up a couple of blocks from there. Went to the Columbus zoo for the first time last fall, and I loved it.

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Monday, May 21, 2007 4:19 PM
I didn't grow up near any zoo but I really enjoy living close to the Columbus Zoo. It's nice to have a membership and just pop in for a quick visit every now and then without having to feel like I need to commit an entire day. And you need at least a day to really see everything. They've been rebuilding the entire place over the last few years. Each year they add something or completely renovate an older exhibit. And there is still a lot more to come.

I really like the Cincy Zoo. I'm a sucker for old buildings and Cincy has a lot of history and they managed to preserve a couple of the original buildings while still updating the animal habitats to modern standards.

The Wilds tends to get overlooked, probably because if its remote location. But it is a really neat experience.

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Monday, May 21, 2007 6:28 PM
Like Jeff, I grew up very near the Cleveland Zoo. I rode my bike up and down those hills all the time. It would probably give me a heart attack now. :)

My sister gets the family pass to the Cleveland Zoo and takes her 4 kids multiple times a year. I know they love to go. Every time they do, I never hear the end of it. It certainly has changed there over the years and definatly needs some updating. But, I still enjoy going with the kids every once in a while.

Last year, we all went to the "Touch" exibit, where you get to touch sharks and rays. That was pretty cool. My nieces were too affraid to try, but the boys loved it. I belive they have the exibit again this year.

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Monday, May 21, 2007 6:40 PM
When I worked at CP in the '05 season, I took a couple of trips out to the Toledo Zoo and thought is was very cool. I loved the seal/polar bear exhibit they had there.
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Monday, May 21, 2007 9:53 PM
Cleveland did seem very spread out. We didn't bother with the tram, and it was a week too early for "Touch" or "Dinosaurs" to be open, but we still had a good time. The Rainforest was nice, but like any indoor zoo attraction it had a tendency to get way to overcrowded at times.

Unfortunately the scenic "deck walk" up to the Cat/Primate building was closed (we were looking forward to that).

The Bears section looks totally outdated (although there appears to be a myriad of construction markings on the stone "caves", so perhaps work is upcoming).

My personal biggest disappointment was the aquatic area. This is typically the part of a zoo I most look forward to, and I feel it offers a facility a great chance for some cool theming/setup. It just looked like the past time someone put some money into the aquatic area was 1973. or 1972.

7/10, and only because it looks as if they are preparing for updates, and the staff was top notch.

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Monday, May 21, 2007 10:30 PM
The aquatic part of the cat/primate building was actually retrofitted at some point, I'm guessing in the 90's. The building opened in the late 70's and it was all cats and primates. I think even the lions were there until the savanna opened either in the late 80's or early 90's (don't remember).

The pachyderm building, now that's ancient.

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Tuesday, May 22, 2007 11:32 PM
The Cleveland Zoo is preparing for updates they are building North America's largest elephant habitat.
I always here that the the Cleveland Metroparks have always wanted to build a separate Aquarium on the lake front, and could explain the lack of effort put into the current aquatic building.
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