Cincinnati Zoo has $679M impact on Tri-State, UC study finds
“We’re a world-class zoo, and that’s why we attract 1.7 million visitors annually,” Cincinnati Zoo director Thane Maynard said in a news release.
The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden might be a nonprofit, but that hasn’t stopped it from having a nine-figure impact on the regional economy.
The Cincinnati Zoo at 3400 Vine St., the sixth-oldest zoo in the United States, was the only subject of the UC Economics Center study – which in5
Included figures on the zoo’s taxation, local impact, social media exposure and job creation.
One key finding from the study was the local impact of the zoo, extending throughout Hamilton County and the Greater Cincinnati area. The zoo, for instances, supports more than 8,825 individual jobs, providing $295.9 million in wages over the study’s four years.
Since the turn of the decade, the zoo has generated $34 million in tax revenue for local governments and the state of Ohio. This income is procured as a mix between memberships; tax levy funding; admissions; and, most prominently, donations and gifts which made up 38% of the zoo’s income between 2020 and 2021.
The Cincinnati Zoo has spearheaded multiple multimillion-dollar capital projects within Hamilton County, totaling $71.6 million over the last four years. The zoo is also underway on another campaign not included in the study – the $150 million expansion movement, “More Home to Roam,” which aims to expand living space for its animals.
Though construction for some of the exhibits are still underway, the first two pieces of the Cincinnati Zoo’s expansion plan opened in 2021 – Roo Valley, a walkable Kangaroo experience, and African Penguin Point. The entire project, featuring a 100,000-gallon rainwater tank to supply water for both exhibits, cost $13 million in total.
The zoo’s financials have jointly benefited alongside Cincinnati’s hotels, mostly due to nonlocal visitors who’ve spent $275 million in Hamilton County during their trips since 2020. The study estimates more than 58,000 of these visitors stayed in a local hotel.
The Cincinnati Zoo’s social media following, the largest of any zoo in the world, created another source of growth for the collection of more than 500 animal species. The Cincinnati Zoo has procured $47.6 million in value during the 2022 and 2023 fiscal years on five social media platforms – Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok and YouTube.
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