Study: Minnesota Zoo is an economic dynamo

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  • Updated: January 12, 2013 - 5:30 PM
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pmarc078Jan. 12, 13 6:21 PM

sounds like it adds more value than a 1 billion dollar football stadium at a fraction of the cost.....

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roymercerJan. 12, 13 6:32 PM

No mention of poor rube Joe Sixpack, the taxpayer that likely kicks in $10 in public subsidy for every 50 cents of economic return. This reminds me of Light Rail math.

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thankbhoJan. 12, 13 7:15 PM

pmarc, I take it you're not a fan of the stadium. You know where would be a good venue to comment on that? An article about the stadium.

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georgina17Jan. 12, 13 7:52 PM

RoyMercer: Please tell me more about your calculations. I see that for 2012, 24% of the Zoo's operating revenue, or $5.5M came from taxpayers. I think the state also contributed a little something to capital campaigns, but it could be that 100% came from donations. The Zoo Foundation has no tax money going into it. Did you mean that for each 50 cents of taxpayer money, the community is getting $10 in economic return?

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billybillyJan. 12, 13 9:17 PM

"you're not a fan of the stadium:"..............I agree with pmarc078. Iyt is a valid point. It shows that there can be a very good ROI for taxpayers, if the money isn't going to a for profit, out of state businessman.

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edinawaterJan. 12, 1310:21 PM

Reading the study it appears they estimated the number of non-metro visitors at the zoo. Then assumed that the zoo inspired all of those visitors came to the twin cities. Finally, they counted all the money those visitors spent while visiting and concluded the zoo adds that much economic value to the region.

I have been to many cities, and I have visited the zoos in many of those cities, but I have never gone to a city specifically to see a zoo. I went to the zoo because I was already in the city and it seemed like an interesting place to go. I'm sure the story is similar for many, perhaps even most, people that visit the zoo.

In short, the study is seriously flawed. It gives the zoo credit for far more than it actually delivers. I've no doubt the studies supporting the Twins and Vikings stadiums were similarly flawed.

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shuckJan. 15, 13 9:37 PM

$46 per local person per day visited? Insane. We have a family membership and I take the kids several times per year, but we're sure as heck not spending $138 on average each time we go. Even paying daily admission and parking with overpriced food and souvenirs that seems high as an average.

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