BALTIMORE – 409,843 spins of the turnstiles!  The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore is celebrating a successful end to Fiscal Year 2012 with a total count of 409,843 visitors, an increase of 35,232 visitors over FY2011.  “As with most businesses, we set higher goals for ourselves every year, and this year we were thrilled to hit the 400,000 visitor mark, which is a significant increase over the 330,680 visitors we saw in 2009,” stated Don Hutchinson, president/CEO of the Zoo. “We created several new promotions and events in FY2012, including staying open late on Thursdays in August and bringing back the popular Zoo Zoom 8K race, both of which helped increase awareness of, and excitement for, the Zoo. As a weather-driven operation, our very mild winter certainly helped as well.”

The Zoo also broke a number of internal goals for revenue in several departments. The Membership Department generated over $1 million in revenue in FY12, a milestone not reached in many years and an achievement which represents an increase of 10.4% from 2011. “This tells me that visitors clearly see the value in becoming a Zoo member,” continued Hutchinson.  “In addition to family memberships, we also have to thank our business and community partners for supporting the Zoo through corporate memberships, an area that has also seen growth over the years.”

Other highlights from the year ending June 30, 2012:

  • FY2012 is the first year the Zoo raised over $450,000 in annual fund dollars and the first time $100,000 in donations was received in a single month, December 2011.
  • Total annual fund revenues in FY12 were 30% higher than in FY11.
  • Many Zoo events saw an increase in attendees, including the biggest fundraiser of the year, Brew at the Zoo, which grew by 38% in attendance and raised approximately 45% more revenue than 2011.
  • Each of the twelve events in the “Breakfast with the Animals” series sold out in advance.
  • Group sales revenue increased 38% over budget.
  • The Zoo admitted 86,653 Maryland students, teachers and chaperones on school field trips in FY 2012.  Of those, 74,036 visitors were admitted without charge as part of the Free Admission Program for Maryland Schools which is supported by the state and funded through the Maryland State Department of Education.

Maryland Zoo Highlights from FY 2012

  • The Outreach program through ZOOmobile and community outreach programs and events, delivered a record 835 programs to 35,410 children and 10,985 adults in fifteen Maryland counties, Baltimore City, and Washington, DC, as well as Pennsylvania, Virginia and Delaware.  This compares to 759 programs the prior year.
  • The Zoos’ 946 volunteers donated 34,288 hours of time to the Zoo, with a payroll extension value of $780,000.

There were several notable animal births, including:

  • Two female addra gazelle calves (November 2011 and June 2012);
  • A second male baby Coquerel’s sifaka born in November 2011;
  • Four warthog piglets in April 2012;
  • A baby colobus monkey in April 2012.

“A few years ago I noted that the key to our financial success is finding the economies and efficiencies in our spending, while offering our guests and dedicated members reasons to come to the Zoo, and then come back again,” said Hutchinson. “As a non-profit, we challenge ourselves to increase revenue each year to support our operating budget, and I am confident that we are on the right track. We have a lot on tap for the coming year, including going beyond what we were able to accomplish in FY2012.”

“This fall, we will be breaking ground on a new state-of-the-art penguin exhibit, our largest new exhibit in many years,” concluded Hutchison.  “This is going to be a phenomenal exhibit and should certainly be a game-changer for our organization and all who support us.”

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