FRESNO, California (KGPE) – Zoorassic Park at Fresno Chaffee Zoo was shut down last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The zoo estimates a $4 million loss since last spring due to the mandated closure.
Zoo staff members hope the Zoorassic Park exhibit could help make up for lost revenue because visitors pay extra to check out the attraction.
“It was closed for last year, but we did end up extending it due to the closure. So it’s a really exciting time for us to be able to invite guests back, offer a lot of changes to ensure health and safety, and give people an opportunity to get out of the house,” said Brandy Gamoning with Fresno Chaffee Zoo.
Zoorassic Park features lifelike and life-size dinosaurs that move and make sounds. Because the zoo is only allowing about a third of the visitors that were normally coming in per day pre-COVID, Gamoning says they’re also extending hours.
“That’s just again a chance for us to welcome more guests, spread people out throughout the day to ensure that the limited capacity is helping people socially distance, keeping them separate while they’re here and just giving them more time at the zoo to enjoy their visit.”
Shawna Nyverg and her family have been coming to the zoo for more than a decade; she says they don’t mind the changes.
“You know, so many places are just closed and this place, the zoo, has taken really good precautions and you know, we all have to wear our masks, but it’s also outdoors and beautiful here and it’s open and it’s just something that we can do.”
The exhibit will run through Aug. 1 and due to limited capacity regulations, it is recommended to purchase tickets ahead online.