Admission prices at the Sedgwick County Zoo have gone up.
Regular admission for ages 3 to 11 now costs $11.95, an increase of $2 from 2016. The price of admission for adults increased by $1 to $15.95.
Children ages 2 and under can still get in for free, and it will still cost seniors (62 and up) $11.95 to visit the zoo in 2017.
Zoo spokeswoman Melissa Graham said the increases were made because of higher operating costs for the facility. The price for a regular child admission to the zoo increased by $1 from 2015 to 2016, Graham said.
The zoo was also budgeting for fewer visitors this year compared to last year. In 2016, the zoo saw a record 710,629 guests enter its gates.
Graham said they were budgeting for about 635,000 attendees in 2017. She said the attendance boost from the zoo’s new elephant exhibit should soften this year.
“Historically, we have seen that after exhibits are opened, attendance starts to taper off (the next year),” she said.
Sedgwick County will spend $5.8 million toward the zoo in 2017, according to its budget. Graham said the nonprofit zoo board’s side of the 2017 budget is $6.8 million.