Monday, October 3, 2016

The Jackson Zoo has a plan

The Jackson Zoo rolled out a new master plan that proposes a major facelift for the Jackson attraction. An African village, new exhibits, and a restaurant are in store for Jacksonians if the plan becomes a reality.  The plan is posted below.  The estimated cost is $95.9 million. Some highlights of the plan are:

*The anticipated yearly attendance for the new Jackson Zoo is 250-300,000 visitors, when totally built out as shown on the master plan.

*New exhibits will be created.  The new exhibits include a discovery zone for animal-human interaction, expansion of the Africa exhibits, adventure zone where children can play, and larger area for group events.

*Gift and concessions are improved.  A restaurant that can seat up to 150 people indoors and outdoors will be built.  The plan also calls for the creation of a cafe.

*Tropical rainforest building, South American exhibits and a new orangutan/gibbon exhibit.

The plan has several phases. 

Phase 1
* Creating an entry complex that will house an improved gift shop, visitor services, and restrooms.
* A restaurant
* Mississippi Plaza for educational activities and exhibits
* Africa Village that includes an improved lion and giraffe exhibit.
* Estimated cost is $31 million

Phase 2
* Improved entry and parking
* exhibits for orangutan, gibbon, leopard, and waterfowl
* Estimated cost is $22 million

Phase 3
* Restaurant
*Adventure zone for kids
* Phase 2 of Africa Village
* Estimated cost: $19.8 million

Phase 4
* Tropical Americas
* Rainforest building
* Africa forest exhibits
* Asian tapir, fishing cat
* Estimated cost is $23.1 million

Total estimated cost: $95.9 million.


Anonymous said...

I moved here in late 1996. One of the first articles I read in the CL was a banner story touting the renovation of the "Farrist Street Entertainment Districts". Figure this project will run along those same time lines...

Anonymous said...

Well if we hadn't just spent that $90 million on those dandy new water meters this would be no problem...........

Anonymous said...

Is this dated August 2015?

Curious George said...

Okay, so who will pay for the improvements! Jackson, Hinds County, and the State of Mississippi have financial issues and have been "ran down to the ground." I don't believe private investors will pick up the tab.

Kingfish said...

Yes, it was 2015. However, the JZ press released that announced the surrender of its accreditation stated:

The Board of Directors of the Jackson Zoological Society voted unanimously to resign its membership in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), sending a resignation letter on Friday, August the 19th. Zoo staff, with the support of the Board, will work over the next two-three years to identify a funding structure that supports its recently completed facility master plan and strengthen its organizational and financial model. The Zoo anticipates that it will re-apply to be a member of the AZA once the integrated funding, organizational and financials models are in place.

I asked the zoo for a copy of the plan and what you see is what they sent me.

Wasn't published in the media at the time though, was it? You do have a right to see it.

Anonymous said...

1208 has a good point, probably by accident. Let's turn this over to David Watkins - see if he can move $96 million over from another scam to renovate the zoo. I'm sure there are some tax credits he can get involved somehow - housing, homeless, entertainment, something.

Anonymous said...

An African village?


Anonymous said...

I think $95 million would be better spent and easier to recoup by moving the Zoo to a new location say near the Children's Museum & the Wildlife Museum. Tourists traveling through on I-55 would stop.

Anonymous said...

That's insane - they need to increase the size and training of the police force - people will not travel to that part of town and if they do, they aren't safe. They should close the zoo, sadly. With respect to an African village, they just aren't that interesting. And they damn sure don't cost much to build. They could do something in another viable spot, like the natural history museum, to show what an African village looks like. By the way, Africa is a huge and heterogeneous continent. And the population is pretty urban in most places or just looks like the delta - Goodwill hand me downs, cell phones.

Anonymous said...

For that amount of money, you could send 47,500 kids to see a real African village and giraffes. And the restaurant will be a mess and no one will venture there at night.

Anonymous said...

Why a discovery zone for animal human interactions? They have a petting zoo and if you go on safari to Africa they don't let you interact with the wild animals because they are dangerous.

Anonymous said...

I went to the zoo this weekend. It is in pretty bad shape overall and needs a lot of work. Many exhibits were closed down.

It makes me wonder what the price difference would be to move the zoo versus renovating the existing campus if the land was free wherever it moved - such as by the Children's Museum.

Anonymous said...

Everybody contribute one dollar so JJ will never again mention the zoo.

Anonymous said...

I think I would rather have the streets paved.

Anonymous said...

too bad no one will venture to the zoo even after spending this money that could be better spent elsewhere. it's a 'charity hole'

Anonymous said...

Somebody doesn't understand restaurant economics. I am a veteran restaurant owner and a 150 seat restaurant is a multimillion dollar investment. To pull this off you either have to have huge volume or at least a two meal per day venue with wine and liquor. Even then it's a gamble. Just who would this restaurant attract? Somebody is dreaming.

Anonymous said...

close the zoo please.

let the animals die in peace.

bull doze the entire area.

continue bull dozing.

don't stop...never stop...

Anonymous said...

Custer had a plan, too.

Anonymous said...

This comes to mind

Tell Da Troof, Danny Mollisack! said...

Phase 5
- "Magnolias and Mockingbirds" exhibit
- Another restaurant
- "Mississippians in the Jungle" storyboard
- Estimated cost: $17.6 million

Phase 6
- World's longest roller coaster
- Kenneth I. Stokes Dodo Bird exhibit
- Snow cone stand
- Estimated cost: $24 million ($10 million to pay Stokes for his name)

Phase 7
- New brick sidewalks and benches
- Livingston Park Green including mixed income housing and a parking garage with robots
- B.B. King's Blues Club and Grill
- Estimated cost: $77.5 million

Phase 8
- "Majesty in the Mud" Pearl River Aquarium
- Catch and release fishing attraction sponsored by the Hinds County DA
- IMAX theater
- Estimated cost: $87.42 million

Phase 9
- Bigfoot exhibit (if they find him by then - the Jackson Zoo has first dibs)
- African-American Village portraying the evils of the African slave trade and how modern-day white people are responsible for everything bad (sponsored by the Jackson Free Press)
- Monorail to Metrocenter
- Estimated cost: $99.9 million

Phase 10
- After millions in losses, donate half to Jackson State and sell the remainder to a local mega-church
- Estimated sale price: $9 million

Anonymous said...

Can't understand people getting their panties in a wad over this. Ain't no way that anybody, thing, or group is coming up with anywhere near $95 million for this 'renovation' to the zoo. And for those in Madison County that want to see the zoo 'moved' to LeFluers Park, that ain't happening either. (BTW, if a renovation cost is estimated at $95 million, would need to put up half again that much, or more, to move the zoo. And no, that doesn't include land costs.)

There is a possibility that a few million might be put into the zoo - a new entrance off Woodrow Wilson, improved security, exhibit improvements - but that's all that can realistically be expected. And even that isn't going to occur unless and until there is some fiscal sanity returned to both the zoo and the city (please pardon the redundancy).

Anonymous said...

Now thats funny ..... But sadly true

Anonymous said...

Let's make sure the city floats a bond issue for this project before it files for Chapter 9. May as well max out the credit card before filing.

Anonymous said...

People who are complaining about security.

When was the last time you were in West Jackson? Serious question.

Anonymous said...

@ 3:25 - Last Saturday. Sketchy as ever especially at Capitol and Boling.

Anonymous said...

Why not put up a supersized water slide?

I hear one is for sale in KC.


Anonymous said...

Why is everything so negative and racist on JJ....??? I guarantee the cowards who make these remarks will not do so publicly'. It's so easy to sit at home and come up such childish, 1850's comments. I challenge each of you to say something and do something positive to make a change or difference...

Anonymous said...

2:04, you forget - it's not REAL money, it's taxpayer money, so the economics don't matter.

Anonymous said...

I wondered when some Jake leg would pull the race card. Do you not watch the news? I drive on that side of town at least 3 times a week. It's a total dump and after dark it's not safe. I would never let my wife go to west capitol street after dark. It's not racism. It's statistics.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, 'Tell Da Troof Danny Mollisack!'! I was eating muscadines, and when I got to the, 'Kenneth I. Stokes Dodo Bird Exhibit', I had a bit of an accident. But that's OK. Cleaning muscadine out of my keyboard is a small price to pay, for the best laugh I've had all year.

Messick said...

Oh, 9:04... same line, different day.

Anonymous said...

Is a zoo worth dropping $95MM on? Close it and re-purpose the funds to solve some of the many more pressing issues in Jackson.

Anonymous said...

Africa is the second largest continent and is not a homogeneous culture. That's like saying "a North American village". There's a big difference between villages in Canada, Colorado, Georgia, and Mexico.

So what kind of "African village" are we talking about? Which part of Africa? North Africa? Sub-Saharan? South Africa?

Will it be a patronizing, Disney-fied, uggabugga village straight from the annals of Hollywood movies, like this, where people wear loincloths and wash them by banging them between rocks?

Or will it be a real village, like this town in Kenya?

Or like this town in Libya?

And what does a human settlement have to do with the Zoo anyway? Because there are wild animals in Africa?

Anonymous said...

Jackson, listen very closely to these words. Be good at the basics. Get a grip on your infrastructure problems! Get a grip on your school system! Get a grip on your crime! Get a grip on your elected officials and appointed leaders! EVERYTHING else will then take care of itself.

Anonymous said...

I'll put up $96million for this project if we can go a week without having a murder within 5 miles of the zoo.

let me know when that happens...

Anonymous said...

9:04 "...cowards who make these remarks will not do so publicly'."

So says 'Anonymous'...

But, wait... isn't this a public place?

Tom Heads Nemesis said...

9:04, why don't you go ahead and show us the racism you managed to find, Tom Head.

Anonymous said...

Hank's thoughts,

After reading some zoo pages and talking to some zoo associations today. Here is my conclusion.

Spending 95M over time short or long cannot be supported by 250,000 or 300,000 visitors a year. The admission price, even with corporate support would be very high. Zoo's like Memphis, Riverbanks and others require one million guest per year with strong corporate $upport. Area income levels also some into play, regardless of admission price you guest income determines how much time is spent at the zoo, along with how many trips. Don't forget food prices and gift shop prices will also need to be higher. You need a lot of local folk with expendable income to support a decent zoo.

Look at Charlotte they don't have a zoo,they have the land, the income but since Riverbanks (top ten in USA)in Columbia in just 70 mile south, they don't have to spend resources on a zoo.

North Carolina did take a much different course something Mississippi should look into. They decide to find enough land and opened a state zoo. Big zoo with state and corporate support run by DNR. I took a few years for it to get its legs but it is a large and beautiful zoo.

Anonymous said...

The idea that Jackson has to have one of everything is pure folly.

Anonymous said...

Make a dog park out of the zoo. The zoo animals could be snacks like they have been many times in the past.

Anonymous said...

Such a ridiculous idea....and Jackson leaders can't even make payroll....what a joke

Anonymous said...

6:55 I like that idea. Just give the zoo to the State Department of Parks, Fish fries, and Wildlife. Let them run it. They keep all the profit, if any. The City pays nothing and gets paid nothing. But they don't have the expense of a zoo and still get the tourism. The question is would the state want it?

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Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

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This is definitely a Beaver production.

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Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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