Crain's Cleveland Business
The Akron Zoo had a record-setting 2016. The zoo announced Friday, Jan. 6, that last year it set a new all-time attendance mark by drawing 398,878 visitors. That surpasses the previous mark of 389,508, set in 2013. The zoo also set a new single-day attendance record when 7,550 people visited on Oct. 23 during its Boo at the Zoo event. That Halloween-themed event also registered the most people ever over its six-day run: 29,938.
"We are honored to engage the people of Summit County and Northeast Ohio through up-close and personal experiences with nature that create connections between our community and some of the most endangered animals on Earth," president & CEO Doug Piekarz said in a statement.
"We are humbled and truly thankful to be a part of such a supportive and caring community as we continue to advance our mission to connect your life to wildlife while inspiring lifelong learning and conservation action," he said.
The zoo cited several things, including some new youngsters, in looking at the boost in overall attendance. A newly hatched Chilean flamingo went on exhibit in spring, and snow leopard triplets were born and introduced to their exhibit in early June. Visitors also headed to the zoo to check out the Journey to The Reef exhibit before it permanently closed in November, officials said. Plus, the park brought back its holiday lighting event, Wild Lights, after a 16-year absence. June, July and May, though, drew the largest crowds when 62,244, 57,521 and 55,068 people visited, respectively.