Attendance at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo surged to more than 1.3 million visitors for only the fourth time in its 130 year history in 2011. The accomplishment also marks the 19th year in a row the Zoo has surpassed 1 million visitors.
The final tally for the year was 1,318,458 visitors, an increase of 16 percent over 2010, once again making the Zoo the No. 1 year-round attraction in Northeast Ohio.
�We were predicting a sizeable increase in attendance due to the opening of our new African Elephant Crossing exhibit,� said Zoo Director Steve Taylor. �But a 16 percent increase is more than we hoped for, and all of this happened in spite of a record 65 inches of rainfall.�
The Zoo's yearly attendance record was set in 1993 when 1.4 million people visited following the November 1992 opening of The RainForest. Several other attendance records were set this year however, including best June ever at 252,611, best November at 52,565, best single day (24,976), best Mother's Day (16,303) and best Thanksgiving Day (9,335).
The Zoo netted its highest attendance of the year, 24,976 on June 13, a free admission Monday for Cuyahoga County and Hinckley Township residents. The lowest attendance, 58, happened on Friday, March 11. The record-breaking rainfall forced the Zoo to close on Monday, February 28 when an early spring thaw caused Big Creek to rise over its bank and flood the Zoo.
Boo at the Zoo also continued to be a popular draw for the Zoo in 2011, selling out five of its eight nights and bringing in 40,680 Halloween revelers for a 9 percent increase over 2010.
Northeast Ohio's most-visited year-round attraction, Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Through March 31, 2012, admission is discounted to $8 per person, $5 for kids ages 2 to 11 and is free for children younger than 2 and Zoo members. Parking is free. Located at 3900 Wildlife Way, the Zoo is easily accessible from Interstates 71, 90 and 480.
For more information, visit clemetzoo.com or call (216) 661-6500.