Waco: Zoo’s revenue gap remains despite record-breaking attendance

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WACO, Texas (KWTX) The Cameron Park Zoo had record-breaking attendance in 2018 - but the revenue doesn't show it, according to city leaders and staff.


"The gap has grown over the last several years," said Asst. City Manager for Waco Bradley Ford.

Despite having 360,000 visitors in 2018, the City of Waco is subsidizing $2.7 million to the zoo this fiscal year.

Officials discussed the revenue gap and potential bond election for the zoo during the McLennan County/City Intergovernmental Relations Committee Meeting Monday afternoon at Waco City Hall.

Ford told city and county leaders they were going to propose a new contract which included a realignment of the zoo's management structure, moving finances and human resources to the city-side.

He also said they were going to try to reconvene the Cameron Park Zoo Commission; the six-member commission would be comprised of two city representatives, two county representatives, and two members of the zoo society.

"The society is also likely to request a bond election," said Ford.

The deadline for the bond election to be ordered for the May election is Feb. 15.

Ford pointed out: not every zoo admission was a direct ticket sale as some visitors counted had annual memberships.