Sedgwick Co. Zoo rings in new year with new ticket prices

SEDGWICK COUNTY, Kan. (KSNW) – The Sedgwick County Zoo has increased its ticket prices for 2017.

Zoo officials said the increase will help pay for park expenses. However, some visitors told KSN zoo admission was already too expensive before the prices went up on January 1, 2017.

The Sedgwick County Zoo is one of the state’s most popular attractions. It offers up, close and very personal views of apes, flamingos and the newest addition, elephants.

“They just keep adding new things so we just keep going back,” said Claudia Ordaz.

Ordaz often takes her 10-year-old daughter and her friends to the zoo.

“Usually we try to go with school activities and stuff like that, try to budget with that,” Ordaz said.

That’s why Ordaz said she was somewhat shocked when she found out the zoo was increasing its prices in 2017.

In 2016, regular admission to the zoo for an adult was $14.95. The new cost for an adult is $15.95. Children’s ticket prices have  also increased. In 2016, regular admission to the zoo for children, ages 3-11, was $9.95. The new cost for a child is $11.95.

The price for children under the age of 2 is still free. The price for senior citizens has also remained the same at $11.95.

KSN asked people what they thought about the new ticket prices.

“It’s too much. I think it should be cheaper because people just can’t afford that,” said Janelle Rangel.

“It’s expensive for a family of five, it’s very expensive,” said Bill Schmidt.

Compared to other zoos around the Midwest, the Sedgwick County Zoo is a bit more expensive.

The zoo in Oklahoma City charges $8.00 for adults. The Kansas City Zoo charges $14.50 for adults. The St. Louis Zoo is free.

The Sedgwick County Zoo admits the price hike wasn’t ideal, but a spokesperson said it was needed to help cover the park’s expenses like food, maintenance and electricity. A zoo spokesperson released the following statement about the increase in prices.

The Zoo’s operating expenses, like all businesses, experience increases. Changes in admission are the Sedgwick County Zoo’s primary way to cover costs. The Sedgwick County Zoological Board of Trustees regularly survey the cost of entertainment and attempt to remain competitive with other venues such as concerts, movies, etc.

There’s been a lot of debate about the county funding the zoo. The county commission said the county funding had nothing to do with the price hike. In fact. the county gave the zoo more than $5 million for 2017.

The zoo will continue to offer discounted days and yearly passes to offset the new ticket prices.