San Antonio Zoo opens transformed entrance

This is phase one of the zoo’s $200 million overhaul over the next 20 years.

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A front view rendering of the new zoo transformations.

Rendering via San Antonio Zoo

It’s time to hippo-party-mus. After announcing some turtley awesome news in late 2021, the San Antonio Zoo unveiled its new $13 million entrance, and we’ve got the inside scoop. Let’s get wild.

What’s all the roar about?

This is part of Phase 1 of the zoo’s master plan which includes improving its infrastructure, ADA accommodations, safety, and ease of use for visitors. This is the first time the entrance has seen updates since being built in the 1950s.

The new entrance includes:

  • The H-E-B Plaza
  • A lemur skywalk
  • A designated entrance for school groups
  • The LEGOLAND Discovery Center Zoo Entrance LEGO-Model

Additionally, after closing the Monkey House in 2018, the historic building was renovated and re-purposed to include a café, stroller rental + sundry counter, and accessible restrooms.

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The new entrance features a lemur skywalk and the H-E-B Plaza.

Photo courtesy of the San Antonio Zoo

Show me the money

How’s a project like this being funded? Glad you asked, the master plan of the San Antonio Zoo is estimated to cost upwards of $250 million. These funds will improve the park over the next 10-15 years. The zoo is currently taking donations for its event center project and has raised $47 million of the $67 million needed to complete it.

Other cash flows contributing to the project come from revenue generated by rides, merchandise, parking fees, etc., as well as state + local taxes.

What’s next?

The biggest next step for the zoo is the reintroduction of the gorillas for the first time since 1990. The new gorilla habitat + event center will open in 2025.

Fun fact: The gorilla enclosure will be the largest in the country.

Are you excited for the additions? Let us know.