June 22, 2007
Zoo prices

I have three things to say about this story about a price hike at the Houston Zoo.

1. Get a membership. If you go to the Zoo more than once a year, it pays for itself. (And if you go less, what are you complaining about?) There are still free days at the Zoo, and as the story notes there will now be discount tickets, for slightly less than what they were before the increase, at Fiesta markets. Membership means skipping the long lines to enter, special deals and other discounts, and a reciprocal arrangement with other zoos and aquaria - when we go to Portland to visit my parents, we get in free at the Portland Zoo, and the same is true when they come here. And it's good for the Zoo. Who knows, maybe more members would mean longer-term price stability.

2. It's still a pretty good deal - kids' tickets are cheaper here than at most other Texas zoos. And speaking as someone whose first visit to the Zoo was over a decade ago, it's a much better place now than it was back then. It's also a pretty good deal compared to other entertainment options. How much would you pay to take the family to a movie? An Astros game? Dave and Buster's? You can still go to the Menil if you want high-quality no-cost entertainment.

3. Maybe the Zoo is having to spend more money on things that it must have and can't control, like (oh, I don't know) gasoline and electricity. What's their alternative in that situation? Unlike HCTRA, the Zoo has fewer good options available to it.

Sure, I'd rather the Zoo be cheaper. I'd rather everything be cheaper. But that's life.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on June 22, 2007 to Elsewhere in Houston

I remember going there when my kids were small, at least 2000 if not before and I couldn't believe how cheap it was. I think it was a $1 or less. I thought that it was a really nice zoo also, much better than Ft. Worth which we went to the following year.

Posted by: mark on June 22, 2007 3:23 PM